Historical fiction; England, Australia, women's struggles
Christina Baker Kline, also author of Orphan Train, writes compelling stories that are sometimes difficult to read. In this novel we are taken to 1840's prisons in England that retain women for minor offenses. Ships of lascivious men take these same women to Australia. And Australia where they spend years imprisoned when the real crime is being poor and female.
As in Orphan Train, Kline creates emotion and understanding through the characters and the narrative. I knew Australia was colonized with exiles from England, I hadn't thought what that experience would be for the women or the Aboriginal people involved. Good historical fiction takes you there and creates an understanding, and that's what this novel does.