With the turn of each page, the characters that roam across these pages go astray. They are emigrants, runaways, drifters; gold miners and counterfeiters, attorneys and slaves. They cross borders of race, law, sex, and sanity. They travel for love or money, under duress or incognito.
Donoghue describes the brutal plot hatched by a slave in conjunction with his master’s wife to set them both free, and takes us to an early Puritan community in Massachusetts unsettled by an invented sex scandal. Astray also includes ‘The Hunt’, a shocking confession of one soldier’s violent betrayal during the American Revolution, which was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Short Story Award.
These strange, true tales light up four centuries of wanderings, offering a past in scattered pieces, and a surprising and moving history for restless times.