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A suitcase washed up on the shores of Mosman in Sydney in 1923. Two women with complicated, mysterious and impoverished pasts. A dead baby and a handkerchief with a commercial laundry code in the hem.

These are the key elements in this fascinating tale by sociologist Tanya Bretherton, who worked as a senior research fellow at the University of Sydney for 15 years. Bretherton has long had an interest in writing about life for people living below the poverty line in Australia and uses these skills with great success in The Suitcase Baby.

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