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Tourmaline, in outback Western Australia, is dying: its mines lie abandoned and drought has taken hold. When the enigmatic young diviner Michael Random emerges from the desert, offering salvation to this parched town, desperate townspeople see him as a messiah.
Random begins to spread the word of God—and to promise them water, that most precious resource. The once-comatose community is indeed stirred to life, by hate as much as by love, and its people find salvation neither in water nor gold.