A Crying In The Wind

A Tasmanian Story

“A big saga tracing its people through two centuries of Island life…fascinating, and well-informed by in-depth historical research.”      
Prof. Henry Reynolds, Uni of TAS

The Story

“This epic and sweeping 200-year saga of an ancient island and its violent transformation from Eden-like paradise to the tourist-destination Tasmania of today, is told through the lives of four families.”


The Aboriginal child Tom, stolen in 1812 and forced into early adulthood with no family, no identity, and no love; the hard working Scottish Fairfield family who leave all that is familiar to establish themselves in an alien place; the convict George Turner whose gentleness and conscience are finally destroyed by hard fate; and later the Dijkstras – displaced from Java and then from the Netherlands by WWII – come seeking a new home in the fabled isle that their own Abel Tasman had discovered in 1642. 

In the wake of invasion and genocide, the remnant Aborigines struggle for bare subsistence and recognition on the remote Bass Strait Islands while the pastoral settlers build their empires on someone else’s land; the convict’s sons try to create a new identity, and the Dutch search for peace but bring memories of other wars. All of them are in an alien environment full of ghosts and strange presences.
As their descendants – ordinary people whom you might meet on the streets of Hobart today – interact around the troubled boy Ty, a threatening environmental mystery, and a fiery climax on the slopes of the grand Western Tiers, this is raw history as well as the heart-warming story of ordinary people, loving, hating and battling along in a difficult setting, indelibly marked by their past, yet striving to rise above it and seek redemption.
Tasmania… ravishing beauty, dark shadows too; alienation, love, hate, betrayal, hope and redemption. What complexities lie behind ordinary people? This is our story, rich and compelling…

“This rich and absorbing story’s other ending is still out there, waiting in the wind to be heard…”

Dr Alison Bleaney

About The Author

Coming from Cornwall, Elizabeth has lived in Tasmania since 1982, first on a dairy farm and later on an organic smallholding, both on the NW Coast.  Her three children grew up there; for some years Elizabeth also managed a local bookshop.  In 1999, her marriage at an end, she came to live in Hobart and started a tourism business which she ran for ten years.  She has always loved both reading and history, and became much intrigued by Tasmania’s unusual – and largely unknown – story, which after some serious research and study led to A Crying in the Wind being published.  “But history is not very interesting when it is just dry facts – I wanted to tell the story of the ordinary people who were actually living it.” 

Elizabeth continues to live in Hobart, loving her garden and its birds that Sooty the cat is strictly forbidden to chase.  “Tasmania is an extra-ordinary place, loved and hated in equal measure.  I consider it a privilege to live here.  It may be something of a backwater, but the ravishing beauty and peaceful daily life more than make up for it.”

A Crying In The Wind - Elizabeth Fleetwood
Four families, four interlinked stories from 1812 to today, and the Island that cradled them.You will be captivated!