Ghost Gum Valley is the second book from Australian author Johanna Nicholls.
At the heart of this sweeping saga is Isabel de Rolland, an English aristocrat sent to the penal Colony of New South Wales in 1833 to honour an arranged marriage. Wealthy ex-convict Garnet Gamble has paid Isabel’s family’s debts in exchange for the respectability that her lineage will give his son Marmaduke whose ‘convict stain’ excludes him from Society. Isabel and Marmaduke detest each other on sight. She sees him as a Colonial barbarian. He has no intention of relinquishing his bachelor freedom and his mistresses. But in the Gamble mansion the dark secrets of the past and the spectre of madness are destined to haunt them – forcing them into a strange alliance.
This powerful story brings to life a volatile era – manipulation and revenge, a duel of honour, the birth of a theatre, a murder trial. Above all Ghost Gum Valley is a wonderful love story between two delightful characters who are struggling to break free from the past and embrace the future.