Hannah is Quality. She is one of the born aristocrats of London, but her father leaves her behind. A series of misunderstandings later and Hannah finds herself on a ship to Australia. Hannah has always been selfish, but the long trip and the factories afterwards open her eyes to enjoying what she actually has.
Hannah develops beautifully as a character, and it is obvious that lots of research has gone into this book. Wilkinson has a gift for bringing history to life. The majority of tortures written into the book actually occurred, and that is what makes this a historical fiction, as far as I am concerned.
I felt driven to finish this book, even though I knew what the outcome would be. It wasn’t a badly written book, like some others I have read recently, but it just wasn’t my style. For a book that says it is ‘fantasy’, it doesn’t cut it for me. The only fantasy element that I could see were the short fairytale sections put in as hallucinations or flashbacks, as well as the chapter verses.
I really want to blame disliking this book on it being written by an Australian author. But at the same time, some of my other favourite authors are Australian (think Isobelle Carmody). Maybe it is just the Australian content. I will probably try more books by this author, just not from this pseudo-fantasy genre.
This book has been long listed for a number of awards, and has glowing reviews elsewhere, if historical fiction is your thing and you think you want a more unbiased opinion. There is an underlying romance in this book that also might appeal to others – again, it’s not really my thing, and I couldn’t tell you if it is representative of its kind.
I picked up this book by mistake at the library. It was right next to another set of books by Carole Wilkinson which I really enjoyed, and the spines of the covers looked very similar. Both sets of books are published by Black Dog Books.
The level of gross in this book is pretty high. There’s torture, sex, theft; a whole range of fantastic bad things! I’d recommend this book for teenagers, not children by any means.