Elianne by Judy Nunn
Elianne, is a story about wealth, power and lies, set on a large and imposing sugar cane plantation in Bundaberg, Queensland.
It’s 1881 and ‘Big Jim’ Durham creates for Elianne Desmarais, his young French wife, the finest of the sugar mills in Southern Queensland, and names it in her honour. The massive estate becomes home to hundreds of workers, but ‘Elianne’ and its owners – the Durham Family – have dark and distant secrets, secrets that surface many years later in the 1960’s.
This is an interesting read, which also incorporates a lot of fact of the region for that era as author Judy Nunn stressed that although the story is fiction, she spent an enormous amount of time researching the region’s sugar industry to ensure its authenticity. Ms Nunn said the novel also references well-known Bundaberg businesses of the day and deals with the biggest change to impact the sugar industry – the introduction of mechanical cane cutting. In order to help her research Bundaberg’s history, Ms Nunn said she visited the area a number of times and was assisted by youth/community services librarian Sue Gammon and a number of generous locals. “I had an amazing map of the Bingera Sugar Estate drawn for me so I could wrap my head around what it would be like,” she said.