As washerwomen to the goldfields, Mother Jerusalem and Currency go where the men search for gold. As miners flock to feverishly pursue the new discoveries at Otago, they follow, with their washing machine and the promise of a partnership. Life on the goldfields in the 1860s is hard and the people have to be tough to survive. As the settlement grows many thousands crowd the hills and river banks looking for gold. Crowding the pages of this masterly adventure novel are a host of these rugged characters - loving, hating, giving birth - wonderfully brought to life by Ruth Park.