Spanning three decades, Child of Mine is a deeply resonant novel about a maternal tug-of-love and the little girl caught in the middle.
Janita Cunnington was born at the end of World War II in the small New South Wales town of Barraba, in the heart of New England sheep country. Her relations spent their days managing their households and mobs of sheep, and their evenings reposing in happy ignorance of their convict taint. When her father was discharged from the army, the family moved to Brisbane to live with her paternal grandfather in his sprawling Queenslander. She spent her early childhood there, loitering in its ambit and coming under the lasting influence of houses and their stories. She was nine when the family moved onto a small holding on the outskirts of Brisbane. There they kept company with a jersey cow and calf, a dozen or so chooks, a couple of dogs and a healthy population of brown snakes. Janita came of age (married, had babies and dreamed of revolution) in the heady sixties. In 1968 she travelled to Europe with her children and first husband, and was in Prague during the Warsaw Pact invasion. The experience made her prize the quieter dramas of ordinary suburban life. For many years she earned her living as an editor, eventually retired, and in due course claimed credit for grandchildren. Janita now lives on Stradbroke Island.