"Historical fiction at its best."
"I feel like I’ve made new friends, been on a ship, been forced to the other side of the world and much much more!!
I love the characters, love how it moves between their stories and is written so eloquently. I especially love the smells!!!
If I had more time on my hands I would’ve finished it in one weekend.. it’s amazing!!
The touches of history, distances, images, newspaper cuttings really bring the story to life and make you invest even more." (Ashleigh Hutton)
"The author gives her characters permission to recount their own convict beginnings, the details of each adding depth to their actions and relationships, so significant to the plot lines that gradually unfold. The inspirational stories of these souls, transported to another world, are revealed in lives truly lived."
He wanted two things: the fetters on his ankles and wrists gone, and to kill the cheating, lying, evil old man who put him here. James Tedder trembled; the chains around his wrists rattled.
It was punishingly cold - the norm for winter in London – but even the cold damp air couldn’t dilute the stench. It made his eyes water; he could taste it. Was it the prison hulk itself, the water it floated on, the men crowded into every available space, or a combination? He vomited on his breeches and shoes.
Van Diemen’s Land 1812
‘Stand up straight,’ bellowed the corporal as James Blay took a position in front of his desk. ‘So, you’ve got life, eh? Burglary of boots, even though you can make your own. Are your boot making skills no good, Blay?’
James Blay didn’t know whether he was expected to respond or remain silent while the questioning continued.
‘I asked you a question, convict,’ roared the corporal.
‘I’m sorry, sir. I am a good shoemaker, sir. I have my own shop in Spitalfields in London.’
‘No, you don’t convict. You are in Van Diemen’s Land, with nothing.’