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'Two Sides to Every Question’: From a South Australian Standpoint is a meditation on poverty, wealth, and social aspiration set in the free settlement of Adelaide in pre-Federation Australia. The novel follows the lives of a cast of characters from different social classes as they negotiate the twists and turns in their respective fortunes. The newly-bereaved Alton family—an invalid widow and her two grown children, Tom and Nettie—sell their rural property and move to the slovenly back streets of the inner-city; they are determined to hold onto their dignity and values as they turn to earning a living for the first time. The wealthy Clinton family runs the stock supply business where Tom finds employment as a clerk. Tom’s boss, Robert Clinton, supplements his business income through trading mining shares. His financial success ensures his wife and daughters, Elsie and Lily, have access to the higher echelons of colonial society. Meanwhile, the Clintons' cousin, Arthur Delta, arrives from England to take a position in his uncle’s business. Arthur's mother has called on her brother's charity to help her family in their time of need. When Arthur and Elsie fall in love, the scene is set as he attempts to build his fortune to secure her father’s favour and, so, her hand in marriage. (Summary by kirstyl)