A Good Woman
Whilst on a working holiday in London, Carolyn Drummond falls in love with Duncan Harbison and they make plans for an Easter wedding. However, when Carolyn meets Duncan's mother, she tells Carolyn she's not welcome in the Harbison family. Duncan reassures Carolyn of his love, but takes a transfer out of London without telling her. Carolyn is devastated by this loss, as it reinforces her belief that she is unloveable.
Carolyn and her best friend Barbie leave London and make their way to Cairns, where Carolyn recommences her career as a journalist. On assignment in Mount Isa, she meets photographer Roger Kuechler and romance blooms. After six months of marriage, Carolyn is delighted to find she is pregnant, understanding at last the true meaning of love. Her happiness is short-lived as she has a miscarriage and is devastated by the loss of the child.
Carolyn and Roger move to Gerygone, a small town in the Atherton Tablelands. Roger opens a photographic studio and Carolyn embarks on a mission to create natural perfumes from the native flora. They feel they have found their true home in Gerygone, where they make many friends, including Beth Chambers, the hairdresser, and Ken Fixter, who lives in a shack in the middle of the rainforest. Ken is totally self-sufficient, growing his own produce and selling the excess to make an income. He runs a naturalist group, of which Beth is a member, and Roger takes photos of the group within the native rainforest setting.
Roger presses Beth to try again for a baby, but she hasn't recovered emotionally from the loss of her first child, and refuses to consider it, at least until they have their own home. In the meantime, Roger becomes close friends with Ken, spending a lot of time with him in the rainforest. Carolyn becomes suspicious of Ken, wondering what crop he grows, believing it may be cannibis. When she confronts Roger, he confirms this, and tells her he is working as a police informant, taking photos of Ken's crops and providing information to the police. Carolyn is shocked and fears for their safety.
During this time Carolyn develops a friendship with Adam Cole, a schoolteacher who asks her to do workshops for his pupils. Carolyn is summonsed to Toowoomba for the funeral of her uncle, where she has an argument with her father about her refusal to move back to Toowoomba to look after her aunt. When she returns home a day early, she suspects Roger has spent the night with Beth. She is forced to put her suspicions aside when Roger is badly beaten up as a warning from the drug gang. Carolyn tells Roger to give up his informant role, but he refuses, saying it's the right thing to do.
Beth comes to dinner on the night of her birthday and it is obvious to Carolyn that they are having an affair. Roger offers to take Beth home and doesn't return until the next morning. After a huge fight, Carolyn kicks Roger out and he moves in with Beth, telling Carolyn the marriage break-up was her fault. Once again, she feels as though she doesn't deserve to be loved.
The people of Gerygone rally around Carolyn and her friendship with Adam Cole develops into a love affair, with Carolyn being happier than ever before. She has no contact with Roger or Beth until Roger informs her that his studio has been broken into and all his equipment trashed. Despite them being separated, Carolyn fears for his life and is very concerned when he goes missing. Beth has no idea where he is and believes the drug gang has silenced him forever.
Carolyn visits the local police station, where she discovers Roger is being placed in protective custody by the police. He will be given a new identity and leave Gerygone forever, leaving Beth and her son Sam behind, for their own protection. Roger apologises to Carolyn for his treatment of her and tells her she is a good woman who deserves a good life.
Carolyn can now face the new year with a new man and a wonderful future ahead of her.
Published: 30 September 2016
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