Friday, October 16, 2020

The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline

What a wonderful history lesson and beautifully written book.

I have never heard of these ships that took female prisoners from England to Australia to work off their sentences and who were charged with crimes of no consequence such as stealing a spoon.

We meet Evangeline who was a governess accused of stealing a ring that the son of the person she worked for gave her and who suffered through her months in a filthy prison then on the boat to Australia.

We meet Hazel a midwife and girl who knew how to heal with herbs who was on the transport ship with Evangeline, and they became fast friends as Evangeline taught her to read.

The horrible conditions and abuse these women had to endure is appalling, but the friendships made and the closeness of the women on the boat was wonderful.

In another story line, we meet Mathinna who was taken from her family by an aristocrat and his wife to live in their home. They cared nothing about how Mathinna felt to be all alone because they liked to “collect” things.

All three women suffered immeasurably in the lives they led and in situations that are mesmerizing but heartbreaking.

Ms. Kline has done impeccable research and enlightened us about this time in history and had me looking up Mathinna, the prisons, and Hobart Town.

Another outstanding read with beautifully flowing writing and definitely a book you won’t want to miss.

I didn’t want to stop reading and looked forward to returning to the book. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher and Book Browse in exchange for an honest review.


15 comments:

  1. I always love her books.

    Thanks for stopping.

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  2. I have this one. Very good review.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Enjoy when you read it, Linda.

      Thanks for commenting.

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  3. Great review! I have been on the fence about this one...until now.

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    1. I know it has differing opinions, but to me it was fabulous.

      Thank you for your comment, Laurel.

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  4. definitely going on my library hold list!

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    1. It was so interesting..I love learning about historical events that I never knew of.

      Thanks for commenting, Mary.

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  5. This sounds interesting! Australia is an amazing country but the history is disgusting. Especially, the disrespect and rascim towards the indigenous people.

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    1. I never knew about this.

      Thanks for your comment, Bookworm.

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  6. This sounds like a wonderful historical fiction. I've had my eye on it. I might wait to read it though as it sounds heartbreaking too. And right now I'm attracted to lighter reads.

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    1. It is excellent historical fiction.

      Thanks for your comment, Laura.

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  7. Will definitely mark this as a read for my sister. Her kind of book.

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    1. I hope she enjoys it, Kathryn.

      Thanks for commenting.

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