A powerful atmospheric verse novel set in the Victorian goldfields in the 1800s.

Traumatised by a fire in which her family perishes, the narrator poses as a boy on the goldfields. There, Sun Song, a Chinese market gardener is the only one to show any kindness. The narrator flees to the Chinese camp, taking the name Lin. But Ellery, a man with links to Lin’s past, is determined to take over all rights on the goldfields, setting in place a dangerous sequence of events. To survive is a test of frienship and loyalty, and a catalyst for Lin to remember her tragic past.


Lorraine Marwood is an award-winning poet who has been widely published in Australian and international literary magazines. She has published several children’s books and collections of poetry, including The Girl who Turned into Treacle, that downhill yelling and Redback Mansion. Lorraine is also the Australian editor of the UK literary magazine, Tears in the Fence, and is a writer of poetry ideas and teaching plans for Literature Base.


Ratwhiskers and Me is a beautifully rendered verse novel, telling the story of conditions on the Bendigo goldfields in the 1850s. Marwood uses a minimum of words for a maximum impact, bringing to life the hardships of the life of the miners, the harsh prejudices faced by the Chinese and the extremes of human behaviour during the goldrush…A masterpiece.

Aussie Reviews

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