To Sing of War

Catherine McKinnon

To Sing of War
HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
1 May 2024

To Sing of War

Catherine McKinnon

December 1944: In New Guinea, a young Australian nurse, Lotte Wyld, chances upon her first love, Virgil Nicholson, there to fight the Japanese and keen to prove his worth as a man. Against the backdrop of a hard-fought jungle campaign, the two negotiate their troubled past. Meanwhile, in Los Alamos, young physicists Miriam Carver and Fred Johnson join Robert Oppenheimer and a team of brilliant scientists in a collective dream to build a weapon that will stop all war, with Oppenheimer also juggling the competing demands of the American military and his clever wife, Kitty. Far away, on the sacred island of Miyajima, Hiroko Narushima helps her husband's grandmother run a ryokan, however, when one of her daughters encounters danger, Hiroko must act to ensure her family's safety.

Each of these people yearns to belong, yet each fiercely protects their independence. Secrets, misunderstandings and fears burden them, shame shapes them, hope and imagination lift them up. They are caught in a moment of history, both enthralled and appalled by actions they must undertake. The novel asks what we can learn from this time, when a weapon of mass destruction changed the nature of war and made irreversible changes to our planet. How does fear shape our behaviour, affect our moral being? What is unforgiveable, in love and war, and what must be forgiven? How can one person make a difference in a world that is wondrous, thrilling and endangered?

From Miles Franklin-shortlisted author, Catherine McKinnon, comes a beautiful, rich and intricately woven novel of conflict, death, sacrifice and forgiveness, a novel that insists on our interconnectedness and hums with the energy of the world, a blazingly powerful and deeply moving account of friendship, love and war.

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