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White Spirit

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  261 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Based on the remarkable true story of Irish convict John Graham, WHITE SPIRIT is an epic historical adventure set in 19th Century Australia.

After escaping from the notorious Moreton Bay Penal Settlement, Graham finds refuge with the Kabi, a tribe of Aborigines who eventually accept him as one of their own.

Attempts to recapture Graham are orchestrated by a variety of cont
Kindle Edition, ACE, 695 pages
Published September 28th 2016 by Sterling Gate Books (first published September 12th 2016)
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Lance Morcan On Amazon Kindle is the best way to find this book for now (Just published today ). Paperback edition will be…moreOn Amazon Kindle is the best way to find this book for now (Just published today ). Paperback edition will be published soon.(less)
Lance Morcan Early 1820s-Late 1830s. Set mostly in Brisbane and Sunshine Coast (modern-day equivalent is South-East Queensland, Australia).

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Average rating 4.52  · 
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 ·  261 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Tony Parsons
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Moilow (husband/father, Aborigine), had a great day. He had killed Big Red enough to help feed the village Kabi tribe (Aborigine) PPL.
Gabirri (hunter), & Turo (Gabirri’s BMF, hunter), had also contributed their fair share to the village feast.
Mirritji (Senior elder) by tradition always gets the 1st./best choice of the daily kill to eat.
Mamba is Moilow’s wife/mother of their 2 boys: Murrowdooling (8), & Carravanty (4).
Horror in the Kabi tribe the next day Moilow & Turo had been killed by the riv
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There has been so much praise over this book, that there's nothing left to say other than it's a long story, but definitely worth it!!!
Rachel (borntoberustic)
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'd like to say first off that I very, very much enjoyed this historical fiction and it has given me a new love and appreciation for the Aboriginal people! The first half of the book shows them through the eyes of a typical 19th century individual (definitely not flattering and scandalizingly racist!!), but the second half brings about a HUGE change in the protagonist's character, world-view, and morals. Definitely an amazing book!


ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE STORY! I was thrilled to read in the
Yvonne Crowe
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is Lance and James Morcan’s best work to date. It is up there with Colleen McCullough’s Thorn Birds.
They have breathed life into a true Australian story about the convicts that were transported to the huge continent to make it habitable. The British Empire had no qualms about convicting people for crimes as simple as stealing a loaf of bread for their starving families. It provided slave labor in their colonies.
There they were treated inhumanely; and Lord Cheetham is a typical example.
It s
Christopher Goforth
one of the best novels I have ever read I'm hoping there will be a movie made
Tony Sunderland
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
White Spirit is an exceptionally well crafted novel that recreates the dramatic and dualistic world of opposites that typified the early years of colonial Australian settlement. The authors also give us a taste of the sheer beauty and harshness of the Australian landscape. The characters are very well crafted and reflect the opposing ways of life that permeated this time.
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have this huge thing for adventure stories. The more perils, the better, I always say. So, when I heard incidentally about this awesome-sounding fella named John Graham, whose story is told in the doorstopper that I am hereby reviewing, I immediately knew that I had to read this book. And, boy, am I ever glad that I did!

This is probably the grittiest adventure story that I have ever had the honor to read. It is well known that Australia, famous for its weird and dangerous wildlife and stunnin
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lance and James Morcan love to write books about aboriginal peoples of the world. Their novels always intrigue me with their blend of historical fact and fiction. White Spirit is my favorite of all their novels so far.

It is a brutal, no-holds-barred retelling of the true story of Australia's notorious Moreton Bay Penal and the one prisoner who successfully escaped and eluded capture for decades - a man named Graham.

The story takes from the harsh conditions of the penal settlement to the brutal
Robyn Echols
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found the plot interesting. What an eye-opener regarding how the convict camps in Australia were run in the early days. I also enjoyed the insights into the Aborigine people of Australia. It's a long book, but a good story that held my interest.
Louise Child
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book .

For the first time in a long time 5 stars .A gripping , evocative read .Historically ,it was fascinating .
Maurice Price
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Epic in every sense, thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish.
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
White Spirit: A Novel Based on a True Story is by Lance Morcan and James Morcan. I had previously read several of their other books which were based on the truth but fictionalized. I had really liked these so when James asked me to review this one, I agreed. I am so glad I did. It is an excellent book with great characters and a simple plot which is made complex by the many subplots. It is not a book to rush through but one to savor. The research done prior to the book was well done and a tremen ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this to learn about Australia, and enjoyed it a lot. It is historical fiction based on an actual English convict transported to Australia for petty theft. John Graham was imprisoned near today's city of Brisbane, but escaped and lived with the aboriginal people for 6 years before returning to the prison. Most of it is fiction, of course, but it is based on a real prison, a real person and real Aboriginal life. I especially enjoyed learning about Aboriginal culture. I was surprised to lear ...more
Galilee Dott
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you like the film Australia, this is a book with a similar setting but more depth. I enjoyed reading this all the way through. It made me want to research more about this era. I had ancestors who were sent as convicts to Australia and this book made me wonder about their stories. It ties in with "Banished" on Amazon or Netflix. The characters were well developed to the point of making me cry more than once when one died. The author uses symbolism adeptly, pulls you along to multiple climactic ...more
Gloria Brooks
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of there best books

I couldn't put this book down , it captivated me to the very end. Especially since it's based on a true story, so we'll written and so many details that it felt like you are there..just when I thought these authors couldn't write a better book, they came up with White grateful to have read this's full of excitement and bravery, Endurance that most of us can't comprehend. Thanks for given me a great book to read.
Terri Calvert
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Well written and thought provoking. The history was the best I've read of the early days in Australia for the English. Knowing it was based on truth made it fascinating. I felt angry at the reminders of how half of my ancestors felt it was their right to slaughter the natives but then mankind hasn't changed in all these years. Always thinking might is right. A really good read.
David Eyre
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this kind of story a good down under tale. I hope to visit Australia one day and this colourful description of the country's history will stay with me for a good while. A pleasure to read, so very descriptive. Good on you Mr. Morcan. I love your books.
My mother-in-law was from Tasmania, Australia. Her pedigree is packed with a wide variety of colorful individuals from Reverends to military officers to first fleet convicts to Irish sheep rustlers,so this book was exceptionally interesting to me. The story of John Graham was well written. Definitely held my interest. What impressed me as I read this book (and a couple of other books dealing with the British in India that I have recently read), is the exceptional cruelty of the mighty British el ...more
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story

This was a great story but it was hard to read at times. It drug in places and made a long story seem even longer. The characters were good and it was an interesting read.
Vicki Revering
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exceptional fictionalized history!

The knowns of John Graham's history are very well told, and the fictionalized bits are engaging and compelling. A great book that I couldn't put down and never wanted to end!
Joel A Reif
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. Very well written and kept my interest the entire time.
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An exceptional piece of writing, mesmerizing and eyes-opening story, skillfully portrayed characters and events. Without a doubt, one of the best books I have read. 5 starrs don't do this fascinating and highly enjoyable novel justice.
Elizabeth Flanagan
Full of adventure

This was a great read made even better by the fact that it was based on a true story filled with historical facts. My only complaint was the repetition of some phrases even written the same paragraph. I would defiantly recommend it to friends although it is riddled with violence.
Team Golfwell
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"I enjoyed reading “White Spirit (A novel based on a true story)” by Lance Morcan and James Morcan and, in my opinion, I believe this excellent book is an extremely well-written account of a true story making it a great and memorable work of historical fiction.

These two authors described acts of the inhumanity and the suffering that Lord Cheetham imposed on prisoners and I believe anyone who reads this book will be inspired to raise their voice to prevent cruelty in the world. I also thought th
Georgiann Hennelly
White Spirit is set in 19th century Australia .It tells the story of John Graham an Irish Convict. It is the story of the life he led after escaping from the notorious Moreton Bay Penal Settlement,he found refuge with the Kobi, a Tribe of Aborigines. And the attempts made to recapture him.
Susan Samuelson
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The book started off slow but got to where it was hard to put down. I loved knowing it was a true story and taken from John Grahams diary.
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
White Spirit (A novel based on a true story) By Lance and James Morcan

Based on the true story of Irish (convict) John Graham, Set in the 19th Century Australia. John escapes Moreton Bay Penal Settlement and finds refuge with the Kabi. The Aborigine tribe accept him as their own, although this is not an easy task for either of them. He faces many challenges and prejudices as he struggles to find himself, a place to call home, and finding his way in his new homeland.

Well written with vivid details
Lynelle Clark
White Spirit is a lengthy book that takes you around the coastline into the heart of Australia.
You are taken back to the days when Australia was a huge convict settlement, harsh weather conditions and very rough terrain. Because of this many convict settlements were scattered across the country. Life was difficult for all involved. The terrain was mostly unknown to the mostly English people. The further you venture, away from the coastline, the harsher it becomes with water shortage a huge prob
This book read as a fake to me , poorly researched with a reference to 'koala bears' which they are not. The authors gifted their characters modern day thoughts and the information about the aboriginal life was unsubstantiated. No references bar one slip of a book about John Graham.
There are many other books by Australian authors that cover this early settlement that are far superior - Kate Grenville's 'The Secret River' and 'The Lieutenant" or Luke Slattery's 'Mrs M' for example.
Much of aborig
Todd Simpson
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Both Lance and James Morcan have done an amazing job with this incredible story. Being based on a true story, made it that much more interesting. One of the standouts is how well they explained how hard the white settlors and convicts had it back in the 1800’s. Some of the convicts went through hell, and all for stealing a loaf of bread. The Authors have really brought this story alive with some amazing characters and splendid writing. With no supermarket or corner store in the 1800’s Moilow sto ...more
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New Zealand novelist and screenwriter Lance Morcan is a prolific author with more than 20 published fiction and non-fiction books to his credit as well as several screenplay adaptations of his work. A former journalist and newspaper editor, he regularly writes in collaboration with his son James Morcan, and their books are published by Sterling Gate Books.

The father-and-son team's published books

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