**Australian residents only**
WIN A TRIP FOR TWO ON ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST RAIL JOURNEYS
Read the extract below from Spirits of the Ghan and fill out the form for your chance to win.
Jess took a deep breath and embarked upon the opening lines she’d rehearsed in her mind. ‘I have been told you are May Tjenimana and that you were May Napangurrayi before you married, is that right?’
May was surprised to hear the girl speak her language. The girl was black, certainly, but you could tell at a glance she was a city girl – smartly dressed, slick: she wasn’t one of them.
‘Yes, that is right,’ she replied. Confused though she was by the bluntness of the question, her response was nonetheless polite, for the girl’s tone had been respectful. ‘I am May Tjenimana and I was May Napangurrayi before I married.’ There was a pause as she waited for the girl to explain herself, but the girl, for all her initial confidence, seemed unsure of what to say next. ‘Who are you?’ She was still polite, but she stepped up the authority in her voice. ‘What do you want?’
Jess had rehearsed in her mind the next line too and she had no idea why it had become momentarily stuck. Now words came out clearly and boldly, but in a something of a rush, as if they had been imprisoned too long and needed to escape.
‘My name is Jessica Manning. I am the daughter of your sister, Rose.’
They stared at each other across the twenty metres or so of dusty yard that separated them. The scene remained frozen for what seemed to Jess an agonisingly long time as she waited for a reaction, but nothing was said, no movement was made. Then finally May, eyes still trained upon this stranger who professed to be kin, placed the T-shirt and pegs into the laundry basket her granddaughter Millie held and slowly, as if mesmerised, crossed to where Jess stood.
Follow the link to Judy Nunn’s web page for the entry form.
Judy Nunn’s web page: http://judynunn.com.au/
Penguin Random House, 707 Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia