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Fiction featuring Care Experience

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Ruth Park


New Zealand born Australian writer, Ruth Park (1917-2010), is best known for her first novel, The Harp in the South (1948), which tells the story of the Darcy family of Surry Hills, NSW.

Ruth Park published a prequel to The Harp in the South, Missus, in 1985.

In Missus we meet Hugh Darcy and his younger brother, Jeremiah, born in Trafalgar, NSW.

At the age of 14, Hugh and Jeremiah are banished from their home by their alcoholic, violent father. Hugh takes responsibility for Jeremiah who was born about 3 years after Hugh and with his feet twisted back to front.

After years of Hugh doing itinerant labouring work, and Jeremiah becoming an accomplished cook and storyteller, the men return to Trafalgar.

The novel concludes with the marriage of Hugh Darcy and Margaret Kilker.

On the way through we also meet the Tookey family. Steve Tookey migrated to Australia from Ireland as a young man. He later marries Eve who was orphaned as a child. Eve eventually feels so constricted by her marriage that she leaves Steve and their daughter and goes to Sydney.

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