A Place to Call Home – Aussie Soap Set in a Time of Social Upheaval

Season 2 on Acorn TV, streaming begins April 6 with new episodes added Mondays through April 27
Starring Marta Dusseldorp

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A woman arrives in Inverness, New South Wales in 1953 dragging suitcases and wearing a hopeful smile. She’s in Australia for the first time in twenty years, home from Europe and World War II. She has come to reconnect with her mother and live with her and start a new life.

But she’s shocked when her mother immediately rejects her and sends her away, especially cruel for a daughter she hasn’t seen who traveled with love, thousands of miles to be there.

Marta Dusseldorp plays English nurse Sarah Adams who is looking for a new life at home in Australia, as far from Europe as she can get. Her mother’s response was an unexpected blow, but Adams is a survivor. She’s wounded but not down and it appears she’s used to that cycle.

Adams’ journey home by sea was dramatic and fortuitous. She met the Blighs a wealthy family that needed minor medical attention but one night she came upon the newlywed young son James about to commit suicide and stops him. The incident is kept from his grandmother, the family matriarch while his father’s gratitude results in a posting for Adams for the duration of the journey. And bonus – there is a palpable attraction between them.

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Once on terra firma and stranded, Adams determines to find work and place to live, and carry on. The Blighs help her but against the wishes of the grandmother, who has mysterious reasons for keeping Adams from the family. Adams helps the Bligh’s daughter and the two become friends which further inflames grandma. And James is careful around her because he has a secret.

As Adams becomes closer to the family members, grandma grows more hostile and dangerous but Adams never loses sight of her goal to create her own life on her won terms. She won’t be bullied or paid to leave.
She’s a formidable woman, determined, liberated, experienced in life. She has a strong, defiant and unswerving sense of self, and a will to survive with integrity. Why is she so unlike the self-satisfied people of Inverness? Is it connected to her time in Europe?

What happened? Why is she single, why does she discourage romantic attention from the charming and upright Mr. Bligh? Why do the locals treat her like a scarlet woman?

Marta Dusseldorp is a phenomenal actress and carries the series easily. Her ability to express inner turmoil, personal strength and the vulnerability of a woman on her own is remarkable. She also seems contemporary and forward thinking at the same time.

A Place to Call Home features a large cast of characters and endless twists and turns, it’s fun and highly entertaining and illuminating. And Adams’ experiences and the way they changed her sows the seeds of the feminist movement.

The series notes the growing dissatisfaction with British colonial rule. It is about the shock of the new, as in Adam’s confident character and social change and metamorphosis and in that way, is a richer soap opera than we are used to.

The series recalls the way people lived in a stabilizing post-war world and colonial mores and classism of the time, hangovers from the Victorian and Edwardian eras and years to say goodbye to that life.

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