Cover image of the book 'Across Great Divides - true stories of life at Sydney Cove'

Across Great Divides - true stories of life at Sydney Cove

All communication with family and friends now cut off, we are

leaving the world behind us, to enter a state unknown ...

So wrote David Collins aboard one of the eleven ships entering the vast, uncharted waters of the Southern Ocean. Hundreds of people - men, women and children were being taken against their will to a mysterious land on the edge of the world.


Across Great Divides is narrative non-fiction. The stories you read in this book are all true and will take you on a journey into the hearts and minds of those who experienced life Australia's first colony. Stories vividly capture the struggles during the early years: the excitement of discovery, fear of the unknown and the elation of hard won success. As you become immersed in their stories, you feel their anticipation, distress, and the fears and wonders of the Australian wilderness.

This is also a story of worlds colliding. No two societies were less alike than the British about to land from their ships and the Aboriginal people looking out from the shoreline at the huge winged islands coming in from the sea. In time, meetings between the cultures would be dynamic and varied. The mystery of a new world had begun and the lives of all involved would never be the same again.

Like any diverse group of people, there were rogues among them; those willing to take advantage of an isolated, uncertain situation. There were secret pacts, daring plots, forbidden affairs and the schemes of visionaries. Given the unprecedented setting, it made for a tense and provocative set of circumstances. As the stories unfold you will no doubt wonder, 'What would I have done?'

Why is 'Across Great Divides - true stories of life at Sydney Cove' (AGD) such an excellent book.

  • AGD is an engaging historical non - fiction narrative, and it is very relevant for our present times.
  • Susan has included, chapter by chapter, a comprehensive 'Notes and sources' section.
  • The 'Bibliography' lists the numerous books, journal, diaries etc ...
  • A list of 'Online Resources' is included along with an extensive 'Index'
  • 'Across Great Divides' would make a good gift for anyone who enjoys reading.


Cover image of the book 'Across Great Divides - true stories of life at Sydney Cove'

Across Great Divides - true stories of life at Sydney Cove

Reader Comments

Reviews on Amazon.com.au for 'Across Great Divides - true Stories of life at Sydney Cove' >>

Hi Susan,

I have enjoyed reading "Across Great Divides" immensely, at times reading parts aloud to my husband, and I have recommended it to so many of my friends and family. Very easy reading, but great for learning the story of the First Fleet and the historical figures of the time, rather than just being names in history. For me they became characters in a fascinating story. I have just recently returned from a trip to Kakadu and Arnhem Land, where we were shown around by local indigenous guides, who told us about their land, art, food and culture. All this married perfectly with the perspective your book gave to the arrival of the First Fleet and its effect on the native inhabitants of Sydney Cove and beyond.

I just wanted to let you know, that I loved your book and look forward

to a second book continuing the story. Regards, P M. (Email received, November, 2015.)

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I attended Susan Boyer's presentation of her book (Across Great Divides) at Blaxland Library and purchased the book. I did say to Susan afterwards I would give her some feedback.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I loved the way it was written and particularly liked that there were enough characters, but it was always easy to keep track of them.

As I said I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I look forward a future one.

Best regards.....Lachlan (03.07.2014)

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