Judy Nunn’s latest novel Elianne, is a sweeping story of wealth, power, privilege and
betrayal, set on a grand sugar cane plantation in Queensland. In the tough world
of Queensland sugar mills, it’s not only cane that is crushed …
In 1881 ‘Big Jim’ Durham, an English soldier of fortune and profiteer, ruthlessly
creates for Elianne Desmarais, his young French wife, the finest of the great
sugar mills of the Southern Queensland cane fields, and names it in her honour.
The massive estate becomes a self-sufficient fortress, a cane-consuming monster
and home to hundreds of workers, but ‘Elianne’ and its masters, the Durham
Family, have dark and distant secrets; secrets that surface in the wildest and
most inflammatory of times, the 1960s.
For Kate Durham and her brothers Neil and Alan, freedom is the catchword of the decade. Young Australians leap to the barricades of the social revolution. Rock ‘n’ roll, the Pill, the Vietnam War, the rise of Feminism, Asian immigration and the Freedom Ride join forces to rattle the chains of traditional values. The workers leave the great sugar
estates as mechanisation lessens the need for labour. And the Durham family, its
secrets exposed, begins its fall from grace…