A thoughtful twenty-year-old Australian with a passion for identifying birds. When he was fifteen, Jim saw his younger brother get killed by the blades of some farming equipment. Since then, he’s found it impossible… read analysis of Jim Saddler
A wealthy twenty-three-year-old man who returns to Australia after years of expensive British schooling. Ashley takes pleasure in the “ragged” and unfinished qualities of the land he has inherited, making a point to let the… read analysis of Ashley Crowther
Miss Imogen Harcourt
A middle-aged woman from Norfolk, England who came to Australia six years ago because her brother wanted to get into the gold-mining business. After her brother failed to get rich and returned to England, Miss… read analysis of Miss Imogen Harcourt
One of Jim’s fellow infantrymen in World War I. Like Jim, Clancy is from Australia. He’s also something of a trouble-maker, though he’s ultimately kind-hearted and friendly. A flirtatious man outside the war, Clancy… read analysis of Clancy Parkett
One of Jim’s fellow infantryman in World War I. Eric is a boyish soldier who hardly seems old enough to be in the military. An orphan, he latches onto Clancy Parkett early on, following… read analysis of Eric Sawney
A man in Jim’s infantry who picks a fight with him for no apparent reason. Wizzer makes a point of tripping Jim, instigating a fierce standoff in which Jim feels as if he has… read analysis of Wizzer Green
An old and bitter man who drinks heavily and tells Jim that, if he himself were younger, he would join the military so that he could fight in World War I. This, Jim thinks, is… read analysis of Jim’s Father
A young woman Jim meets while he’s in Brisbane to buy a new pair of boots. While he’s there, news of World War I finally reaches Australia, and the town goes wild with excitement. When… read analysis of Connie
Ashley Crowther’s friend, who flies a biplane over the Australian swampland. Although Jim dislikes this disruption of the landscape’s peace, Ashley arranges for Bert to take the young birdwatcher up into the sky. Two weeks later, Bert joins the military as a pilot.
Julia Bell (Julia Crowther)
Ashley Crowther’s wife, whom he marries shortly before Jim leaves for World War I. After Julia gives birth, Ashley himself joins the war.