Sarah Adams (played by Marta Dusseldorp)
Marta Dusseldorp plays Sarah Adams
Sarah Adams, until recently a nurse in a London hospital, is a mysterious woman who keeps her past and secrets close.
A fascinating combination of tenderness and suppressed darkness and violence, she lives for her job and the care of others. "She's a woman looking for a place to call home," Marta says. "She has a great sense of herself because of where she's been. Because of what she's been through, she appreciates life. But she's not a victim. She's incredibly courageous and speaks her mind."
Born in 1912, she was the youngest of three children in a working class Sydney family. She has her first taste of tragedy when her father is killed in battle at Fromelles. She has the second when both her brothers die in the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918, an illness to which she almost succumbs herself.
Her mother Grace channelled her grief into a deep and unyielding devotion, promising her daughter to God as a nun.
While this was not a choice Sarah would have made for herself, she lacked the strength to voice her misgivings.
Fate intervened in the form of her Aunt Peg. Furnishing Sarah with both the money and the motive, Peg convinced her to visit her fathers grave before entering the convent. She wanted the girl to be away from the hold of Grace and the Church long enough to form a true decision about her future.
So Sarah left Sydney to visit the continent for a few months. It would be 20 years before her return.
Tragic news from her beloved Aunt in Australia causes her to make that long delayed return journey to a country inhabited by the mother who rejected her for her life choices. And she now carries the secrets and scars of her suffering in World War II.
In returning, she finds another country from the one she left behind. She finds an Australia perched on the verge of the social change of the 50s.
Working her passage home aboard an ocean liner, Sarah becomes involved in the lives of the Blighs, a wealthy Australian pastoralist family.
Despite developing an immediate connection with gentle and charming widower George, it is only when Sarah discovers a Bligh family secret that her future becomes forever linked with theirs.
It is time for Sarah to face life again and begin her journey towards healing and hopefully finding A Place to Call Home. "It has has all the romance, glamour and beauty of a period drama, but it also looks at the really ugly and shameful side of Australia in the early 50s," Marta says. "It has incredible integrity, humour, tragedy and wit."