Author(s): Peter Carey
Oscar Hopkins, the hydrophobic, noisy-kneed son of a preacher, renounces his father's stern religion in favour of the Anglican Church. Lucinda Leplastrier, a frizzy-haired heiress, impulsively buys a glass factory with the inheritance forced on her by a well-intentioned adviser. When the two finally meet, on board a ship to New South Wales, they are bound by their affinity for gambling and risk, their loneliness, and their awkwardly blossoming mutual affection. Love will prove to be their ultimate gamble.