Only Birds Above

Portland Jones

This is the story of Arthur Watkins, blacksmith, who leaves his beloved young wife Helen to serve with the 10th Light Horse Regiment in the Middle East in World War I. He returns without his horse, a man forever changed by what he has seen and suffered. Years later, Arthur’s children Ruth and Tom are still feeling the effects of the first war when Tom is sent by his father to work in Sumatra. Tom Watkins is there in 1942 when the Japanese invade and is taken prisoner. This is the story of two wars that divide and unite a father and son, and all the years that lie in between.

‘Uniquely crafted tale of two world wars, seen through Jones’ tender horse trainer touch …’

- Australian Women's Weekly

‘Only Birds Above is sublime …’

- Amanda Curtin

‘Only Birds Above establishes Jones as one of Western Australia’s finest writers of literary-historical fiction.

- Writing WA

Sample Chapter
2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize (Longlisted 2022)
Paperback & ebook
World Wars

Portland Jones

Portland Jones is a writer, lecturer and horse trainer who lives and works in the Swan Valley. She has a PhD in Literature and her first novel, Seeing the Elephant, was shortlisted for the City of Fremantle Hungerford Award. Only Birds Above is her second novel.

Fremantle Press

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