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The Great Divide

The Great Divide

Author(s): Cristina Henríquez

Location(s): Panama Canal

Genre(s): Historical, Fiction

Era(s): 1903 to 1914

‘A gorgeous, sweeping epic’ ANN NAPOLITANO

One of my favourite writers’ ROXANE GAY

‘Spectacular’ JOANNE SEFTON

‘I didn’t want it to end’ SARA SHERIDAN

A breathtaking historical novel following the incredible construction of the Panama Canal and casting light on the unsung people who lived and laboured in its shadow – by acclaimed author Cristina Henríquez.

It is said that the Canal will be the greatest feat of engineering in history. But first, it must be built.

Ada Bunting, a bold sixteen-year-old from Barbados, arrives alone in Panama as a stowaway alongside thousands of other West Indians seeking work in the grand building project of the Canal. Francisco, a local fisherman, resents the foreign nations clamouring for a slice of his country, but nothing is more upsetting for him than his son Omar’s decision to work as a digger. For Omar, whose upbringing was quiet and lonely, this job offers a chance to finally find connection and independence. Scientist John Oswald has come from further afield. He has journeyed to Panama in pursuit of one goal: eliminating malaria. But everything hangs in the balance as his wife Marian falls ill herself.

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