Ralph Doyle has an interest in early European settlement in Australia and the impact this had on the indigenous population, the free settlers and those torn away from their loved ones and transported to the other side of the world. Ralph was motivated to write this book after reading a newspaper article in 2004 discussing the bicentennial of the Battle of Vinegar Hill in 1804. This was the only real revolution of convicts in Australia, yet little is commonly known of this event.
At the age of sixteen, Sean O’Donnell is torn away from his family and transported to the other side of the world. His life is filled with adventure, hardship, grief, friendship and love. This uneducated youth quickly becomes a man who, no matter what injustice is inflicted upon him, holds true to his values. His ability as a farmer, in a land where such skills are desperately required, provides him with opportunities most others are denied. Like the title suggests, Sean’s life ultimately turns from vinegar to wine.