Author(s): Tom Keneally
To be a hero's wife in times supposedly suited to the heroic caused a woman to swallow doubt. I knew in general terms I was marrying a hero. The burden lay lightly on Leo, and to be a hero's wife in times supposedly suited to the heroic caused a woman to swallow doubt The Japanese had barely been turned away. It was heresy and unlucky to undermine young men at such a supreme hour. When Grace married the genial and handsome Captain Leo Waterhouse in Australia in 1943, they were young, in love - and at war. Like many other young men and women, they were ready, willing and able to put the war effort first. They never seriously doubted that they would come through unscathed. But Leo never returned from a commando mission masterminded by his own hero figure, an eccentric and charismatic man who inspired total loyalty from those under his command. The world moved on to new alliances, leaving Grace, like so many widows, to bear the pain of losing the love of her life and wonder what it had all been for. Sixty years on, Grace is still haunted by the tragedy of her doomed hero when the real story of his ill-fated secret mission is at last unearthed. As new fragments
Shortlisted for Prime Minister's Literary Awards (Australia): Fiction 2008.
THOMAS KENEALLY won the Booker Prize in 1982 with SCHINDLER'S ARK, later made into the Academy Award-winning film SCHINDLER'S LIST by Steven Spielberg. He has written ten works of non-fiction, including his recent memoir SEARCHING FOR SCHINDLER, and the histories THE COMMONWEALTH OF THIEVES, THE GREAT SHAME and AMERICAN SCOUNDREL, and 28 works of fiction, including THE WIDOW AND HER HERO (shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award), AN ANGEL IN AUSTRALIA and BETTANY'S BOOK. His novels THE CHANT OF JIMMY BLACKSMITH, GOSSIP FROM THE FOREST, and CONFEDERATES were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while BRING LARKS AND HEROES and THREE CHEERS FOR THE PARACLETE won the Miles Franklin Award. His most recent novel THE PEOPLE'S TRAIN was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia division.