It is 1943; billowing dust and information, the government 'Better Farming Train' slides across rural Australia, bringing expert advice to those living on the land. Amongst the swaying cars an unlikely seduction occurs between Robert, a man with an unusual taste for soil, and Jean, a young seamstress. In an atmosphere of heady scientific idealism they settle in the impoverished Mallee with the ambition of proving that science can transform the land. This novel evokes the Australian landscape and probes the fragile relationships between man, science and nature. This special edition celebrates 40 years of Picador with one of Australia's finest literary reads. With 16 pages of extra content, including Reading Group notes, an essay and awards list, this special edition will make a valuable contribution to your bookshelf.