Lady Bird & the Fox
By Kim Kelly
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No conviction, no reward.
It's 1868 and the gold rush is spreading across the wild west of New South Wales, bringing with it a new breed of colonial rogue - bushrangers. A world far removed from hardworking farm girl, Annie Bird, and her sleepy village on the outskirts of Sydney.
But when a cruel stroke of fortune sees Annie orphaned and outcast, she is forced to head for the goldfields in search of her grandfather, a legendary tracker. Determined and dangerously naive, she sets off with little but a swag full of hope - and is promptly robbed of it on the road.
Her cries for help attract another sort of rogue: Jem Fox, the waster son of a wealthy silversmith, who's already in trouble with the law - up to his neatly trimmed eyebrows in gambling debts. And now he does something much worse. He 'borrows' a horse and rides after the thieves, throwing Annie over the saddle as he goes.
What follows is a breakneck gallop through the Australian bush, a tale of mistaken identity and blind bigotry, of two headstrong opposites tossed together by fate, their lives entwined by a quest to get back home - and the irresistible forces of love.
'Kim Kelly seems to understand the sounds and scents of the country' - The West Australian
'colourful, evocative and energetic' - Sydney Morning Herald
'impressive research' - Daily Telegraph
'Why can't more people write like this?' - The Age