This is the story of a drunk, a boy and a cat.
Billy O'Shannessy, once prominent in law circles, is now on the street where he sleeps on a bench underneath a window of the State Library on the sill of which rests a bronze statue of Matthew Flinders' cat, Trim. Ryan is a ten-year-old, a near street kid heading for all the usual trouble and whose mother is a heroin addict. The two meet and form an unlikely and often difficult friendship.
Appealing to the boy's imagination by telling him the story of the circumnavigation of Australia told through Trim's eyes, Billy is drawn deeply into Ryan's life and the Sydney underworld. Over several months the two begin the mutual process of rehabilitation.
'Matthew Flinders' Cat' is a modern-day story of a city, it's crime, the plight of the homeless and the politics of greed and perversion. It is also a story of the human heart, with an enchanting glimpse into our past from the viewpoint of the famous cat.
The novel is an extraordinary and well-researched narrative with all the usual Bryce Courtenay twists and turns. It will keep you intrigued to the very last page.