Set against the backdrop of two great world wars and the world-changing events between, Gallipoli Street is an epic story of three Australian families whose destinies became entwined by war, tragedy and passion.
Gallipoli Street is a story of mothers, sons, sisters and lovers, and of the anguish, passion, joy, loss and heartbreak of this period, as experienced by the three families who are not only connected by a common address, but ultimately bound by a greater fate. Inspired by her grandfather’s own story, in Gallipoli Street Mary-Anne O’Connor brings a fresh perspective to the story of modern Australia.
1913: Veronica O’Shay (Vera) is happier running wild on the family farm than behaving in the constrictive, ladylike manner her mother requires. She despairs both of her secret passion for her brother’s friend Jack Murphy and what promises to be a future of restraint and compliance. But amid the genteel tranquillity of Beecroft and the rural fringes of Sydney, Vera and Jack’s lives are about to change forever as the O’Shay and Murphy families, along with their friends the Dwyers, are caught up in the theatre of war.
From the horrors of Gallipoli to the bloody battles of the Somme, through love lost and found, the Great Depression and the desperate jungle war along the Kokoda track, this sprawling family drama brings to life a time long past.
Mary-Anne O’Connor’s debut novel is a love letter to Australian landscape and character and celebrates both mateship and the enduring quality of real love. But more than that, this book reveals the adversity and passions that created a nation, and brings to life the love and courage behind our Anzac tradition.
As the boat reached the ship and they hoisted him up he took one last look at Gallipoli and knew part of him would remain there too, lying with the dead, until the soil found their collective dust and the breeze whispered their spirits across the cove.
Book Club Questions:
1. Which character did you most connect with and why?
2. What fundamental differences did you see between Veronica and Rose and how did this affect their life choices?
3. What significance do you think the title holds? (Themes, metaphors etc.)
4. In what ways did Gregory affect Rose and how did you feel about her after she left him?
5. Did you feel Clarkson was justified in his actions in France?
6. How did you feel about Jack's behaviour after the war?
7. In what ways did Jack influence his son Pete's experience of war?
8. If you were Theresa, would you have forgiven Pete?
9. Has Gallipoli Street influenced your view of the Anzac generation? In what ways?