Five years ago, in 1825, Missabella and her ten orphans—the “Switherby Pilgrims”—had voyaged from England to New South Wales, in primitive Australia. By dint of tough pioneering work they had turned their coastal land grant into a true, if rustic, home. Missabella, now, is determined to provide for the future of her orphans according to each one’s character. Not an easy task, with such a varied, ragtag, yet lovable set of personalities and backgrounds as they represent. Selina will train in Sydney to be a milliner; Paul may become a midshipman; Francis loves to farm. But what will satisfy clever, independent Cassie, who has ambitions to be a writer? The “Jamberoo Road” leads her inland, to the discomforts and enticements of being governess in a wealthy colonial family. There restless Luke, likewise employed by the family, as a stable boy, will create his own troubles. Cassie’s story, interwoven with Luke’s and that of all the other orphans’ and their former farmhand Eben’s, is both an account of personal growth and a vivid journey into early-day Australia.
Read the first story of the 'Pilgrims' in The Switherby Pilgrims.