By: Caroline Preston
The Tottenham family is falling apart. There is no money to maintain the crumbling house in Westmeath, and decisions have to be made. Brothers Nick and Tony, fed up with the constraints of rural Ireland and with escalating family tensions, make the long journey to jackaroo on their uncle’s Australian farm.
But it is 1939, and World War Two looms. Nick and Tony’s futures are thrown into chaos as the entire family signs up to help the war effort. Little do they anticipate the unimaginable terror, starvation and heartache that lies ahead of them, or what it will take to survive.
This Tumult is based on the author’s own family history, taking in the battle fields of Syria and Java, a farm in Australia, night sorties over Germany and France, Lincolnshire air fields and the horrors of a Japanese prison camp. It is a remarkable story of hardship, heroism and extraordinary coincidence.
Caroline Preston was born into an Irish family with a long military tradition. She studied History and Political Science at Trinity College Dublin and had a long and successful career in law. She now practises as an independent mediator and lives in County Meath. This Tumult is her first novel.