Rated 4.33/5 based on 3 reviews
Lithgow: an Australian historical novel telling the story of nineteenth century free settlers. The book follows a Scots family swept up by tides of change, struggling in a world forged in battle at Waterloo. Victims of social and economic turmoil in the old world, they seek a future in the new, but the same evils have followed them around the globe. More

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  • Category: Fiction » Historical » General
  • Words: 50,840
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9781466133464
About Chris Craig

Chris Craig:

Born in Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia. I grew up in the mountains before moving to Lake Macquarie and attending the University of Newcastle, studying History and Economic History. I have enjoyed a varied career including labouring in the BHP steel works, working as a concrete contractor, a student politician, a newspaper columnist and as an Industrial Officer for the Australian Journalists Association (which became the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance while I worked for them).

I cut my teeth reading C.S. Forester, Herman Wouk, Leon Uris and Georgette Heyer. Have you read them? You should, if you haven’t yet. They are the real deal. Well researched, well written. True to the story. If you enjoy them, you’ll enjoy my work. It’s worth a read.

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Review by: Tom Flood on March 2, 2014 :
A moving but eye-opening tale of the struggles of the McCallum family crofters, from the battle of Waterloo to a bleak homecoming for a crippled veteran. A child, a long rebuilding, a marriage and a short sylvan respite before the brief and bloody bastardry of the Clearings to bring in the sheep, including the murder of Hamish; the traipsing back and forth across Scotland from kelping to coalmining to feed the woollen mills, and finally immigration as assisted immigrants to Australia. It’s become the story of Dougal and Morag: the deprivations and terrors of the long, long sea voyage; the luck to leave Sydney. Salvation in a job on the land in Lithgow turns back to coal mining for the mill; the gamble on gold and years roughing it in a tent on a muddy pitch; the scraping together of a deposit for a selection; the backbreaking, endless establishment work in the first years on an isolated high country forty acres; the tragedy of locusts taking their hard won twenty-acre first crop in the third year, and the disaster of bushfire down to the wire in the last chance on a grand forty-acre crop to pay for the selection. All lost. Back to Lithgow, blackened and beaten by the wool squatters, to life in a tent and a job in the coal mine, to feed the rail that carries the wool.
An outline of the history, yes, but the heart is in the unbreakability of the family connections, the warmth of their connections, their absolute reliance on each other for the simplest level of survival, something alien to many of today's citizens of British heritage in this country(Australia), and the desperate, indomitable will for survival of these poor folk as the yoke of class, money and power shadows their escape halfway round the world. Craig has achieved something pretty unique here, and though conditions have changed, the lessons still apply today. Definitely worth a read.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Beverley Cook on Dec. 29, 2011 :
Thoroughly enjoyed this book.It covered 'grounds' I am very familiar with, having been born in Bathurst & many times visited Sofala & the Turon River. Lived in Lithgow for many years visiting the Hartley Valley & all the historical sites. A host of pleasant memories were reactivated by this read. 5 stars for that alone. However, the way in which the story unravelled I found exciting, which made it hard to put the book down. Now I want to find out what happened next!
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Review by: Dave NOLAN on Dec. 22, 2011 :
+I found this book very enjoyable. It was easy to read even though I had to read it in several sittings. The writer made the story very descriptive which really drew me in and the blend of fact and fiction added a sense of reality to the story. Although I read the story in several sittings I was very keen to return each time anticipating the next chapter. In summary I would recommend this book and am now searching for other stories from this author.
Thank you Smashwords and Mr Chris Craig
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
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