The Passengers is a beguiling read. Sarah is returning by ship to Australia with her granddaughter, Hannah, after leaving Australia as a war bride in 1945. The journey is full of memories for Sarah; memories of the life she left behind and of the decisions she made after booking her one-way ticket to America. These decisions have since grown into secrets and the impact of keeping those secrets is profound. Hannah, much like her grandmother, has secrets too, and her secrets are slowly killing her. Over the course of the voyage, Hannah hears the story of her grandmother’s life – of milking cows as a kid, the excitement of starting work, of leaving Australia and being married to a man who was a stranger. It’s a life in which Sarah has learned how to go on rather than give up. In hearing the story, Hannah begins to understand that the secrets she holds are not sustaining her, but are trapping her. For both, the journey enables them to confront their fears. The Passengers is, ultimately, a story of sorrow, hope, love and resilience.
The Passengers is the third novel by Eleanor Limprecht, a Casual Lecturer at UTS and a Doctorate of Creative Arts graduate.