Genre: Historical/Romantic Fiction
Author: Mardi McConnochie
Publisher: Viking Adult
A love story was exactly Mardi McConnochie’s premise for her latest novel The Voyagers. The Sydney writer was sitting in her book club and was told to think of a really good love story- to no avail. So McConnochie decided to write one herself.
The fruits of this labour are as romantic as they come. Set in Sydney in 1943 The Voyagers is about the romance of Stead and Marina. Stead, an American solider, met Marina when he was stationed in Sydney and the two spent 3 glorious days together before Stead was shipped out. Now that he is returning to Sydney 5 years later he decides to pay his former love a visit- only to learn that Marina has been missing for most of that time.
Stead resolves to find the missing Marina, taking him across the globe from London to Singapore. What grows from this is a romantic retelling of their former romance and an exploration of the enduring love of Stead for the woman he knew so briefly.
The novel is the fourth from McConnochie who burst onto the literary scene in 2001 with Coldwater, a story about the ‘what ifs’ of transplanting the Bronte sisters into a penal colony in NSW, and won McConnochie one of the Washington Post‘s books of the year. Before that, McConnochie was a play writer and her novels resound with the benefits of this experience: full of dense characterization, attentive detail to plot and impossibly resolute themes.
The Voyagers, with it’s romantic heroes and whimsical storyline looks set to follow in this trend.