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Orphan Fleur Appleby is adopted by a loving undertaker and his wife, and she quickly develops a special gift for helping bereaved families. Her ambition to be the first female mortician in the country is fuelled by her plan to bring more women into the male-dominated funeral industry.
Raised in the outback of South Australia's Flinders Ranges, Tom Catchlove is faced with a life-changing tragedy as a young boy. He works hard but dreams big, striving for a future as a wool classer.
A chance encounter between the two children will change the course of their lives.
By adulthood Fleur finds herself fighting for the survival of the family's business, while her widowed father drinks away generations of prosperity and a new, conniving stepmother wants Fleur gone. When Tom emerges from the isolation of the desert to find new work at the port woolstores, his path crosses with Fleur's again—only to be caught up in a murder investigation, in which they can only trust each other.
At once tragic and triumphant, The Orphans is an unforgettable story about a unique bond between two children that will echo down the years, and teach them both about the real meaning of life, of loss and of love.