Congo Dawn

Melbourne secretary Anna Emerson’s life is turned upside down when a stranger hands her a plane ticket to the Congo. The newly independent country is in turmoil, Simba rebels are on the move – but the invitation holds a precious clue to the whereabouts of her estranged father.

Dan Miller signs up as a mercenary commando to help fight the Communist uprising. He supports the cause, but that’s not really why he’s there. A devastating tragedy has taken all meaning from his life, and he’s got nothing left to lose.

In the Congo, Dan’s belief in the war begins to crumble. Anna heads deeper into danger as she travels from a grand colonial mansion to an abandoned hotel on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, to a leprosy mission in the jungle and beyond. The two paths collide through circumstances more extraordinary than fate.

Inspired by real events, Congo Dawn combines epic drama with an intimate journey into the heart of a fractured family, as two characters in search of people they have lost, at last find a way to come home. It is a landmark novel about good and evil, and the inexhaustible power of love.

Booker prize-winner Tom Keneally on Congo Dawn

"Katherine Scholes is one of those rare writers who connect Australia to Africa in creative fiction. This is, in the best sense, a big, lusty novel. But it exceeds most such novels in sensitivity and imagination, in potent narrative and artistic terms. It gives a sophisticated ear to the great tragedy of the Congo, and the way the grief of it lies still on the Western imagination. And – in Scholes’s case – there is the impetus it gives to the imagination and narrative gifts of an African child, as Scholes herself was. This is a narrative of large and generous dimensions."