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Summary

Highway robber.

Convict.

Runaway.

Mother.

Jenny Trelawney is no ordinary thief. Forced by poverty to live in the Devon forest, she becomes a successful highway woman - until her luck runs out.

Transported to Australia, pregnant and alone, Jenny must face harsh challenges in an unforgiving land. When famine hits the new colony, Jenny becomes convinced that those she most cares about will not survive. 

She becomes the leader in a grand plot of escape. Setting sail in a small open boat on an unknown ocean, she will do anything for freedom, but at what cost?

A fierce and heartbreaking historical debut, perfect for fans of The Light Between Oceans and based on the incredible true story of convict Mary Bryant.

©2019 Meg Keneally (P)2019 Bonnier Books UK

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A Horrowing Adventure

To summarise, this story is a retelling of an iconic historical figure, Mary Bryant, and her journey to and escape from one of the first Australian colonies. This story is heart-wrenching with some horrific moments and knowing that a real-life woman suffered through most of the events occurring in this book makes my blood curdle. The author did a great job of treating Mary Bryant's hardships with sensitivity and respect.

This is a wonderful novel. I'm truly blown away by the stark and simple language the author uses to tell of such hardships. I struggled to put it down. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who likes historical fiction, a strong female lead, and plenty of emotion! The characters in this are so excellently developed. I especially admired Jenny Gwyn (Mary Bryant) and her strength, determination, and grit as she tried to keep herself and her little family alive. And despite Dan Gwyn's role in Jenny's fate, I liked him too. He felt very real to me and his downward spiral was just as heart-wrenching as some of the things Jenny experienced.

I'm giving it 4.5 stars because I was 100% happy with the epilogue. There didn't need to be one and it added nothing to the general feel of the story.

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  • DFK
  • 27-12-20

Well-told and moving story

This story is inspired by true events (Mary Bryant being the real character whom Jenny is based on), and in this telling the characters and their hard lives are presented in a sympathetic and compassionate light. The story is engrossing, the writing is lovely, and the performance is a delight to listen to. If you like historical fiction, I highly recommend this book. In fact, even if you think you don’t, I highly recommend this book.