Old Balmain House family story moves to the next generation
A man sits at a table in a prison cell, hands shackled. The door opens.
In comes a slip of a girl, eyes darting around, face drawn and white.
She is small and slender, like a teenager, but seems older.
The man leers with desire - so long since he has seen a pretty girl.
“Well, well, look what the fairy godmother has brought to pleasure me.”
The girl recoils as if struck, then steadies and sits down facing him.
She stares at the man intently, mixed loathing and desperation in her eyes.
She wrings her hand together then holds still, as if to gather courage.
Finally she speaks, “Please, I need to know if you are my father?”
Two decades pass. Lizzie’s daughter, Catherine, has a child, Amelie.
But soon after Amelie’s third birthday, the unthinkable happens.
She gets sick: the unspoken word is ‘CANCER’, childhood leukaemia
Treatment fails, it is all to no avail, a little girl’s life hangs in the balance.
A bone marrow transplant the last chance - but no match, no donor is found.
Could another relative help – perhaps her father, aunt, uncle or cousin
But who is Catherine’s real father, the man who raped her mother.
Three men were there that night; one is murdered, two are in jail.
She must ask for help from these monsters who abused her mother
These men are hardened criminals - she must visit them in prison.
She cannot bear to ask, to beg them and plead for help,
But yet she must try – it is her daughter’s only chance.
It truly is a Devil’s Choice
A parents worst nightmare. A small child with an incurable disease and a father who served in Vietnam and blames himself for her illness. The family is torn apart. Finally only one choice remains to save the daughter's life, a Devil's Choice.
The time is in the 1980s. Catherine, Lizzie's daughter has returned to Sydney to study. She now lives in Balmain, near where her mother grew up. She settles into life there, establishes a successful career and marries. Then she has a daughter who is the joy of both her and her husband's lives.
But when her daughter is two years old the unimaginable happens. Her daughter develops an incurable disease, advanced leukaemia. Other treatments fail. Now the only option to save her daughters life is a bone marrow transplant. They search desperately for a donor to match. But no one is found. Her daughter has an unusual tissue profile that seems to come from her Catherine's own father.
But who is her father? Catherine was conceived when her mother was raped by three men. Two of the three men who raped her mother are now in jail, destined to spend the most of their life there. The third is dead.
Can Catherine bear to make the choice and bring herself to appeal to one of these men in an attempt to save her daughter's life when she knows that even this may be futile.
This is the third novel in "The Old Balmain House" Series. Novel two, Lizzie's Tale,tells the story of Lizzie a girl from Balmain and her struggle to keep her own daughter when pregnant at only 15 and the terrible choices she must make. This book.continues the family's story into a third generation.
About the Author
They comprise two series,
1. The Old Balmain House Series
2. The Crocodile Spirit Dreaming Series
along with a family memoir. Children of Arnhem's Kaleidoscope
The first series starts with a novel called The Old Balmain House, based on an old a weatherboard cottage in Sydney where the author lived. Here a photo was discovered of a small girl who lived and died about 100 years ago. The book imagines the story of her life and family, based in the real Balmain, an early inner Sydney suburb, with it's locations and and historical events providing part of the story background. The second novel in this series, Lizzie's Tale builds on The Old Balmain House setting, It is the story of a working class teenage girl who lives in this same house in the 1950s and 1960s, It tells of how, when she becomes pregnant she is determined not to surrender her baby for adoption, and of her struggle to survive in this unforgiving society. The third novel in this series, Devil's Choice, follows the next generation of the family in Lizzie's Tale. Lizzie's daughter is faced with the awful choice of whether to seek the help of one of her mother's rapists' in trying to save the life of her own daughter who is inflicted with an incurable disease.
The Crocodile Spirit Dreaming Series comprises five novels based in Outback Australia. The first novel Just Visiting. tells the story of an English backpacker, Susan, who visits the Northern Territory and becomes captivated and in great danger from a man who loves crocodiles. The second book in the series, Creature of an Ancient Dreaming, (previously The Diary), follows the consequences of the first book based around the discovery of this man's remains and his diary and Susan, being placed on trial for murder.
The book, Children of Arnhem's Kaleidoscope, is the story of the author's own life in the Northern Territory. It tells of his childhood in an aboriginal community in remote Arnhem Land, in Australia's Northern Territory, one of its last frontiers. It tells of the people, danger and beauty of this place, and of its transformation over the last half century with the coming of aboriginal rights and the discovery or uranium. It also tells of his surviving an attack by a large crocodile and of his work over two decades in the outback of the NT.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Ten Years Alone 10
Chapter 2 - Boredom 16
Chapter 3 - Beginning to Learn 19
Chapter 4- Six Years Earlier : Sydney School 25
Chapter 5 - The New Barmaid 35
Chapter 6 - An Uncertain Future 47
Chapter 7 - Tremors 53
Chapter 8 - Wedding 64
Chapter 9 - A Business Together 69
Chapter 10 - A Perfect Child 71
Chapter 11 - A Busy Year 74
Chapter 12 - More Tremors 77
Chapter 13 - Beginning Again 86
Chapter 14 - The Birthday Girl 91
Chapter 15 - Lumps 93
Chapter 16 - The Dreaded Word 101
Chapter 17 - Treatment 108
Chapter 18 - A Month Gone - Hope 111
Chapter 19 - Failure 113
Chapter 20 - Fading Hope 117
Chapter 21 - Madness 120
Chapter 22 - Last Chance – A Transplant 133
Chapter 23 - Donor Required 141
Chapter 24 - Search for a Father 145
Chapter 25 - First Meeting 150
Chapter 26 - Second Meeting 155
Chapter 27 - Moment of Truth 161
Chapter 28 - Mathew 168
Chapter 29 - A Chance 171
Chapter 30 - Last Roll of the Dice 175
Chapter 31 - Late in the Night 180
Chapter 32 - A Month Later 185
Chapter 33 - Thank you from Amelie and Sophie. 191
Chapter 34 - Ten Years Later 193
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Wonderful story, so moving
Totally agree with Jmm44. Wonderful book and very moving, yes I would give six stars too
It's not often a book will bring actual tears to my eyes but this one did as well as kept me up way past my bedtime. If it does not touch you similiarly I would be very surprised!!!