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April 28 , 2009

The Birthmark


The Birthmark is an irresistible page-turner, a novel that takes us into a world of adventure and secrets, a place where the past and present collide with astonishing results.

The Birthmark interweaves the stories of two generations on the fictional Pacific island of Tevua, north-east of Australia. In 1942 young lovers Tepu and Edouwe struggle to survive under the brutal Japanese occupation; and in 2004 teenage friends Hector and Lily fight a modern battle with boredom, poverty and parental neglect.

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Both outsiders for different reasons, Lily and Hector spend their summer holiday roaming through the island's thick forests and around the coral pinnacles on the beach. They discover a Japanese sword, a relic of World War II, and soon afterwards an angry Japanese soldier begins to haunt Lily's dreams. What does the ghostly soldier have to tell Lily? Why does her birthmark burn in her sleep? Will the sword be used again? And can younger generations somehow resolve the crimes of the past?

'A rich and moving story, which interweaves a tragic wartime history, its ghosts and its legacy, into the lives of young and old.' Martine Murray

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