James Bryan Cullen, exiled in the First Fleet, then exiled by Governor Phillip to Norfolk Island in 1790, and then again by the British Government to Van Diemen’s Land in 1807. He succeeds despite the power the government on the other side of the world holds over him. In 1796 Cullen takes in Elizabeth Bartlett, a pregnant Irish convict girl from Dublin. With a new family and status, a dynasty begins.
Twenty-four years later, two convicts, exiled on the same vessel – Indefatigable – disembark in Hobart Town: twenty-one-year-old, naïve, James Tedder, transported for standing up to a 70-year-old diamond merchant who molested him, and forty-two-year-old James Blay, a London shoemaker, transported for stealing three pairs of leather boots. The determination to break the stigma attached to convicts leads these two strong willed men to become respected settlers. Land grants are obtained, government contracts to supply meat and wheat are secured and James Bryan Cullen’s influence permeates family and livelihood.
Meanwhile, Sarah Blay, left in England alone to raise and educate three boys, follows her husband James to Van Diemen’s Land. She embarks on a journey that takes her and her children fourteen months to complete. Sarah’s story is one of amazing strength, wisdom and courage. The three boys grow up in a convict colony, marry into convict families, and through their wives, continue the Cullen legacy.