Promise of Rain tells the confronting story of a young girl growing up in Australia, making the transition from convent to desert, facing prejudice, the challenges of life in the Centre, where the heart lives and breathes despite the suffocating heat, hate, and heart breaking beauty of the land.

At seven, Lucy Stapleton takes life as it comes – the dusty inner Sydney convent, where nuns and girls dream of sanctity and play with tyranny and acceptance; and home, amid her parents’ slow war of attrition.

At twenty-two Lucy travels to Alice Springs as a teacher. Here she meets Titus: painter, pupil and aboriginal healer. His history, and their love, force a tragic confrontation.

Promise of Rain is a rich blend of reminiscences and discovery, hope and disillusionment.

Lucy Stapleton leaves the comical terra firma of Catholicism, Haberfield and Five Dock to find herself in Central Australia, in love with a social outcast who, despite being marginal in the eyes of others, is complicit with the land and his knowledge of it.

This is a novel about innocence and the paths it must take to see that the paradox only deepens and understanding comes at a price. The humour and pathos darkens and quickens but never dissolves. It is a coming of age epic that is forged from the heat, brilliance and mirage-like beauty of the Australian continent.

“… a book of range and power…”

~ Tom Keneally