Author(s): Sarah Hope
Canvas, is the sparkling debut novel by Sarah Hope, and readers will relish in her deft literary telling of loves, lives and Australian history. It¿s January 2006, and Alice McKinley has a big problem. Her grandmother, Cecily, has bequeathed her Dunedin, the family¿s crumbling pastoral estate in Victoria¿s Western District. But the sprawling sheep station is a poisoned chalice and on the brink of bankruptcy. A posthumous gift from Cecily reveals a Pandora¿s box of riddles, clues and cryptic correspondence, including a journal written by her ancestor, Florence. Alice is catapulted into a frantic search for something she¿s not even sure is real¿ a missing masterpiece, commissioned by her family in the 1870s. It¿s an heirloom rumoured to be worth millions and would save Dunedin from financial ruin. If only she could find it. As Alice delves deeper into the family archives, she uncovers more than she bargained for ¿ a tangled web of intrigue stretching from the giddy world of colonial squattocracy, the wool boom of the 1950s and the realities facing rural families in the new millennium. But time is running out save her family¿s legacy. Will this be the end of a great Australian rural dynasty? Filled with tales of hidden love, dark family secrets, and chance encounters, Canvas is a sharply observed family saga, interwoven across generations and set in the heart of Australia's verdant grazing country.