Book Reviews – Judy Nunn

As hotspot has decided to hotspot for me this morning, I am taking advantage of the connection. Here’s hoping it will last long enough for me to finish and publish this post…

Judy Nunn is one of my favourite authors now. Ever since I discovered her books    two years  ago. Since then, I have ploughed through nine of them. This  and this will take you to a review of some of her other books. 

Born in Perth in 1945, at 19 years of age she moved to Sydney to take up a career in acting.  Judy is well known and loved  in Australia for her roles in various TV soapies – Prisoner, Home and Away, The Box, Sons and Daughters.  Acting on stage and screen as well as screenwriting have been part of her long and successful acting career.

And, as I have discovered, she is also a brilliant writer.


Judy Nunn writes fiction novels wound around the rich and diverse history that is Australia. Tiger Men tells the sordid story of early settlement in Tasmania. There are two things that the penal colony of Tasmania is particularly notorious for, apart from the horrendous treatment of its convicts – the wholesale slaughter and extinction of the Tasmanian Aboriginal and the Tasmanian Tiger. All of it make us hang our heads in grief and shame.

This book weaves the story of three families – an Englishman, an Irishman and an American – around the greed and corruption of early Tasmanian settlement through to the personal impact and tragedy that  WWI visited on the country and individual families.

It’s a powerful read. And an enjoyable one.


Maralinga is a place in the middle of nowhere deep in the outback of South Australia about 800 kilometres north-west of Adelaide.  Not that far from where I live.

Which made reading this book a bit spine chilling. To this day its very name evokes shudders of horror.  In the 1950’s the British government, in collaboration with the Australian government, established a top secret nuclear testing facility there.

While weaving the facts through my fictional story I have aimed for a general consensus of opinion, but there are so many variables I’ve come to the conclusion that no-one really knows the full truth, and probably never will.

The impact of the nuclear fall out, the effects on the  local Aboriginal community , the sheer stupidity of the way the tests were conducted, the arrogance of the powers that be make for rivetting reading.


Beneath the Southern Cross is set in Sydney Town in the late 1700’s.   A last minute reprieve from death by hanging saw a young 19 year old Thomas Kendall  transported to the penal colony that was Australia.  The book follows his life story and  that of the Kendall dynasty he established.

It was not uncommon for convicts, once their sentence had been served, to become wealthy property owners and respected (or feared) citizens of the new world they were creating so far from home.

As in all her books, Judy Nunn weaves the history of the nation, the locale, and its inhabitants, into a fictional story that makes for fascinating reading.

If you are interested in Australia, it’s history and stories, Judy Nunn’s books deliver them in an entertaining package of intrigue, greed, corruption, heart rending sadness, and romance.

© Raili Tanska

Steps for Peace
It begins with you


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