The gripping work of an author at the height of his powers
An immensely subtle study of the bad fit between moral systems and real life
[Its] great strengths lie in its evocation of Australia at a particularly turbid period of its history, and in its characterisation of ordinary people faced with extraordinary dilemmas.
Superbly crafted . . . he effortlessly interweaves many of life's bigger dilemmas: the conflicts between love and duty; innocence and experience; conscience and courage. This is a thought-provoking and engrossing novel.
Meticulous, exact and beautifully written . . . Keneally has the ability to evoke an entire character, even an entire philosophy, in one sentence.
An excellent novel . . . It is good on the Catholic Church, and on the ambiguous boundary between priest and confessor. It is also elegant, economical and extremely funny.