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While the American Revolution rages across the ocean, Bristol tavern owner Richard Morgan tries to lead a quiet, traditional life. But dealing with the loss of his business, his wife and his son takes a terrible toll on Richard. Then when he tries to report some illegal trafficking to the local law, hes the one framed for the crime.

During a time when a poor man has little to no rights and is guilty until proven innocent, Richard has no hope of freedom. Convicted and sentenced to exportation, Richard is among the first fleet of convicts headed out to establish a colony in New South Wales.

His calm strength, intelligence and kindness earn Richard a place of respect among his fellow convicts and the ships crew. Somehow he manages to pull his world together and even find a new love in this strange new land.

Colleen McCullough returns to the epic storytelling she is so well known for (i.e. The Thornbirds) in this sprawling, powerful novel based on her own familys history. Her meticulous research and fantastic talent for incorporating colorful details into her work is what turns MORGANS RUN into more than just the usual saga, and one can only hope that this novel is simply the first installment of a shining, new series. (Jan., 848 pp., $7.50)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin