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Not the Same Sky

A novel

Evelyn Conlon

Not the Same Sky
By 1848 famine has ravaged Ireland, and London remains undecided about what to do. A shortage of female labour in Australia offers a kind of solution and so, over the following two years, more than 4000 Irish girls are shipped across vast oceans to an unimaginable world in the new colony. On Sunday 28 October 1849, one of these ships, the Thomas Arbuthnot, sets sail from Plymouth with a cargo of girls under the care of Surgeon-superintendent Charles Strutt.

Not the Same Sky tells the story of Honora, Julia, Bridget and Anne. It observes them on the voyage, examining their relationship of trust with Charles Strutt, and follows them from Sydney as they become women of Australia, negotiating their new lives as best they can. A stark, poetic intensity gives these young women historical importance and human presence in an elegant and subtle novel suffused with humour.

Praise for Not the Same Sky:
'A fascinating and exquisitely written novel. It is highly relevant both for those interested in the traditions, history and culture of Ireland, and for those researching Australian settlement, with its mixture of customs and evolving new culture.' - Julie Hawkins, Journal of Australian Colonial History

'A fetching and clever work ... There’s a fresh spin to this variable and absorbing story ... meticulously researched, finely written and totally convincing.' - Rama Gaind, PS News

'Conlon is one of Ireland's major truly creative writers.' - Books Ireland

'A mature work of sparkling intelligence and insight ... It should be on any book prize shortlist in the coming year; indeed to overlook it would be an act of cultural madness.' - Mary O'Donnell, Dublin Review of Books

'Not the Same Sky is a moving and poignant story of the famine girls' plight.' - Nic Klaassen, South Australian History website

'This is a beautifully written novel that gives us a good story complete with empathetic characters. But it is also an intelligent and engaging piece of work that leads us into a face-to-face confrontation with some of the bigger questions concerning memories and journeys.' - Rebecca Pelan, Australasian Journal of Irish Studies

'What is most striking about Conlon’s novel is its tone. The Famine, orphans, forced emigration: these themes traditionally inspire sighs, tears and sentimentality. But Conlon confounds expectations and puts an utterly unpredictable and very original spin on this fascinating story ... It is a rich, intelligent and complex novel, carefully researched, beautifully written and utterly compelling.' - Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, The Irish Times

'A most interesting read.' - Fran Knight, ReadPlus

Evelyn Conlon is a novelist, short-story writer and radio essayist. Born in Ireland, she lived in Australia for a number of years. Her last novel Skin of Dreams was shortlisted for Irish Novel of the Year. The title story of her collection Taking Scarlet as a Real Colour was performed at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival. She is a member of Aosdana, the fellowship of honoured artists in Ireland, and lives in Dublin.

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Format Paperback
Size 216 x 140 mm
ISBN 9781743052426
Extent 272 pages
Price: AU$24.95 including GST
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