When Marianne inherits the family home, built by her ancestor Mary Anne Clarissa Purcell, she also inherits a passion. Mrs Purcell was an adventurous woman who, in 1864, had set sail with her husband to explore the Pacific in his trading ship, and found herself living with missionaries on the island of Medolan.
Marianne is considered the quiet one of the family, so when she decides to retrace her ancestor’s roots and return to Medolan, her family are surprised. But once there, Marianne finds herself developing a passion for the place and for its secrets – secrets which she could never have imagined. As Mary Ann Clarissa’s story unfolds, so too does Marianne’s own, as she learns as much about herself as about her ancestor.
The Lost Tribe tells the twin stories of these two women, connected by blood but separated by generations. Readers will find themselves absorbed in both tales, fascinated by the mysteries and absorbed by the cultures of the missionaries of the nineteenth century and of the islanders they work with.
A strongly woven story.
The Lost Tribe, by Jane Downing
Pandanus Books, 2005