Designing Fate PDF (Adobe DRM) download by John Sandes

Designing Fate
Publication date: December 2011
ISBN: 9781604446111
Digital Book format: PDF (Adobe DRM)


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NEWSPAPER REVIEWS OF "DESIGNING FATE." LITERATURE. AN AUSTRALIAN NOVEL. "Designing Fate," by John Sandes (Hodder and Stoughton, London and New York). The well-known Australian journalist whose previous efforts in the field of fiction was for the adaptation of love-making to the aeroplane, has not achieved a distinctive success in "Designing Fate;" but he has written a readable story. The plot is somewhat feeble, and its culmination far-fetched, but there is some bright descriptive writing and a narrative that sustains the readers interest. The tale tells of the fortunes of twin brothers, whose mother had, under stringent financial pressure, sold one of her infants to the childless young wife of an elderly squatter, left the other in the care of a fashionable boarding-house keeper in Melbourne and disappeared. One boy, Harold, was brought up as the son of the old squatter, the other, Humphrey, as the nephew of the boarding-house keeper, neither knowing his true name or history. But the mother, who had disappeared, had never presented the L500 cheque which she received for Harold, and Major McLean, the husband from whom she had run away, had sought in vain to find traces of her. Ultimately the twin brothers meet. Harold as a young squatter, Humphrey a surface hand is an iron smelting establishment. Humphrey is "wanted" by the Melbourne police on a charge (false, of course), of embezzlement as a bank clerk; he has learned the truth, or something of the truth, about his parentage, and is bent on finding out what has become of his missing mother. He and Harold exchange confidences, and the latter engages him as boundary rider; but a steamer is wrecked on the coast near the run, and Humphrey volunteers to ask as amateur diver to locate the wreck in deep water. He discovers, not the steamer for which he is searching, but a 20 year old wreck, and brings to the surface the jewel box of his dead mother, containing all the clues and documents necessary to establish identities. The missing mother, it appears, had left Melbourne for Sydney to recover the baby she had sold, and her steamer had foundered with all hands. This is where the title of the book "Designing Fate" is meant to apply. The diving scenes are written up with much conscientious attention to accuracy in detail, and the author in a brief preface sets out that he did not invent the incident of a diver looking for one wreck and discovering another. Such an incident actually occurred during the search for the Elingamite wreck off the Three Kings of Sydney Coast a few years ago. The best chapter of the book is that in which smelting operations are carried on at the Lithgow ironworks. (The Sydney Morning Herald)
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