I recently spoke to Nicole Sinclair about her novel Bloodlines. Nicole tells me she has never been to Tasmania but she does have friends here including author Robin Mundy. Nicole also includes a Tasmanian character in the novel, that of her Beth’s ex-husband Sam.

Bloodlines, as the name suggests, is the story of the familial ties that bind. Beth our protagonist, has a secret hurt in her past that sees her leave her family home that she shares with her father and move to Papua New Guinea to live a completely different life as a teacher. Ironically, it is Beth that is taught some lessons about life.

The post-colonial setting in New Guinea is juxtaposed with Beth’s separation from her post childhood home of Western Australia. As the new colony is let go to stand alone so Beth lets go of her past and its hidden hurt.

One defining relationship is a fleeting romance she has with a character known as ‘the pirate’ who is a regular visitor to the island. He plunders his way through life, giving love without commitment or complication. This romance shows her, ironically, that bloodlines real or created cannot promise or guarantee a happy ending and that having the courage to form those connections knowing the possible consequences of disappointment is more courageous than leading an uncomplicated life.

‘Bloodlines’ by Nicole Sinclair is out now published by Margaret River Press