Van Diemen's Land, 1826.
When Bridget Crack arrives in the colony, she is just grateful to be on dry land. But finding the life of an indentured domestic servant intolerable, she pushes back and is punished for her insubordination-sent from one place to another, each significantly worse than the last. Too late, she realises the place she has ended up is the worst of all: the 'Interior,' where the hard cases are sent-a brutally hard life with a cruel master, miles from civilisation.
She runs from there and finds herself imprisoned by the impenetrable Tasmanian wilderness. What she finds there-what finds her-is Matt Sheedy, a man on the run, who saves her from certain death. Her precarious existence among volatile and murderous bushrangers is a different kind of hell and, surrounded by roaring rivers and towering columns of rock, hunted by soldiers and at the mercy of killers, Bridget finds herself in an impossible situation. In the face of terrible darkness, what will she have to do to survive?
A gripping and moving story of a woman's struggle for survival in a beautiful and brutal landscape, Bridget Crack is a unique and deeply accomplished novel by a rare talent.
'A compelling story and terrifically told. Leary's voice is supremely confident and perfectly balances a fine lyricism with tough, sinewy sentences that hit hard and true.'
Lenny Bartulin, author of Infamy