The Old Balmain House

The Old Balmain House

by Graham Wilson
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The Old Balmain House by Graham Wilson

Sophie vanished - where did she go? For 100 years nobody knows.

A photo of 8 year old Sophie and an antique perfume bottle are found in the fireplace of an old house.

The story of a Balmain family over 170 years. Finally they uncover what happened.

Set around beautiful Sydney Harbour this is a story of this place and its people, an imagined history from early Australia to the present day

Who was Sophie and what happened to her? On buying an old weatherboard house in Balmain, Sydney, we discover her photo, dated 1900-1908, long hidden, along with a small perfume bottle in an old fireplace. Then we discover that Sophie disappeared with a childhood friend in 1908 and was never seem again, leaving a trail of sadness through generations of her family.

This book tracks the journey of the discovery of Sophie and her family, from their first arrival in Sydney, over five generations of the family, until the mystery is finally laid to rest.

It is a story of loss and grief, mixed with joy, which passes through the successive generations of a family. The way the family deals with unresolved tragedy and finally the way their love transcends time is the story from which the real Sophie emerges.

Graham Wilson, the author, lived in the house in Balmain around which this story is based for seven years, before moving to Millers Point. This is his first novel.

Graham has previously written a family memoir, "Children of Arnhem's Kaleidoscope" which describes his childhood, growing up in a aboriginal community in Western Arnhem Land. This is also available from this site.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781499396942
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 05/01/2014
Pages: 168
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.36(d)

About the Author

Graham Wilson lives in Sydney Australia. He has completed and published nine separate books, and also a range of combined novel box sets.

They comprise two series,
1. The Old Balmain House Series
2. The Crocodile Spirit Dreaming Series

along with a family memoir. Children of Arnhem's Kaleidoscope

The first series starts with a novel called The Old Balmain House, based on an old a weatherboard cottage in Sydney where the author lived. Here a photo was discovered of a small girl who lived and died about 100 years ago. The book imagines the story of her life and family, based in the real Balmain, an early inner Sydney suburb, with it's locations and and historical events providing part of the story background. The second novel in this series, Lizzie's Tale builds on The Old Balmain House setting, It is the story of a working class teenage girl who lives in this same house in the 1950s and 1960s, It tells of how, when she becomes pregnant she is determined not to surrender her baby for adoption, and of her struggle to survive in this unforgiving society. The third novel in this series, Devil's Choice, follows the next generation of the family in Lizzie's Tale. Lizzie's daughter is faced with the awful choice of whether to seek the help of one of her mother's rapists' in trying to save the life of her own daughter who is inflicted with an incurable disease.

The Crocodile Spirit Dreaming Series is an Outback Noir series of five novels based in remote Australia telling the horror story of a backpacker and a dangerous man, from whom she finally escapes but is unable to escape the consequences of her actions.

The book, Children of Arnhem's Kaleidoscope, is the story of the author's own life. It tells of his childhood in an aboriginal community in remote Arnhem Land, in Australia's Northern Territory, one of its last frontiers. It tells of the people, danger and beauty of this place, and of its transformation over the last half century with the coming of aboriginal rights and the discovery or uranium. It also tells of his surviving an attack by a large crocodile and of his work over two decades in the outback of the NT.

In his non writing life Graham is a veterinarian who work in wildlife conservation and for rural landholders. He lived a large part of his life in the Northern Territory and his books reflect this experience.

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The Old Balmain House 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was unsure about reading this book. It seemed to be very different from my much loved mysteries. Well, the author fooled me. Up until the synopisis. I thought this book was a work of fiction based on the stories, mementoes and facts of the author's ancestry. I was amazed when I read it was all imagination. It seemed so real. This book is about 350 nook pages. It took me about four and a half hours to read. I only caught five proofing errors. There was no cursing, gory murders, or randy sexual situations. Although there was one mild sexual situation and a retelling of a rape incident, its consequences and the aftermath, told by a young woman. Even though this book was far outside the genre I prefer, I enjoyed it immensely. It followed many generations of the same family for almost 200 years. I recommend it to both male and female adult readers. AD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am very happy i stumbled across this great read. Highly recommend to readers of all genres.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! It was a little slow in the very beginning but then it started to move along. It is the story about a family and covers several generations thru joy and tragedy. I highly recommend this book. I enjoyed it so muchI just added the next book"Lizzies's Tale".
GaryS1 More than 1 year ago
Beautiful little book, touching story, highly recommended
AmandaR1 More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. While it took a little while to get into the second half was both a delightful and moving story of a family over several generations and the tragedies and joys which befall them and how they deal with the loss of their little girl. Highly recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Begins a bit slowly and would benefit from a bit more background about the places and characters at the start but overall an excellent story with a lovely ending
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was not sure when I started this, so glad I kept reading. The story came full circle and I truly enjoyed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I read someplace that this was a story of a family over the period of about 200 yrs--I thought "I'll never finish this cause I've never liked history"! But I started anyway & read the whole thing.... The author makes the people 'come alive' and it all seems real! Hope you like it too!!
avidTXnookreader More than 1 year ago
For those of us unfamiliar with the early colonization of Australia, this family's story provides a look at what its early settlers faced as they survived with determination and courage. And even after several generations, the family homestead house remains the focal point of their remarkable story. Enjoyable and educational reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You people should just read this novel yourselves and write your own review on this book. I really enjoyed reading this novel very much. ShelleyMA
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautiful story that will stay with me. Loved it and wanted it to continue. One of the best i've read latey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Told with heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story which improves as it progresses
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This might be a decent story if it were written by someone who can advance a story through the give and take of conversation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago