book review – author recommendation


over the past 4-5 days I have read 2 books in a 4 part series by a New Zealand born, Australian based author, Deborah Challinor.


about 3 years ago I picked up one of her books, Band of Gold, and thoroughly enjoyed it – historical setting with a lovely side of humour as it weaved its tale. when I came home for Xmas the year before i returned her (i.e 2 yrs ago!), i spied the book on the left and brought it, and left it in NZ knowing I was coming back, so no point carrying it back to then pay to ship it home a few months later!.

when I was leaving Brisbane earlier this year I saw the book on the right and brought that, not realising at the time it was part 2 in the series. 

once back home, I realised this and was pleased I’d spotted and brought it. then the books sat on the shelf!. til last week when I needed to take a book with me, to an appointment with my mother.

the books tell the story of 4 girls who meet in Newgate Gaol in London in 1828. they are full on interesting characters and at times I felt like I was watching it all unfold, rather than reading it, they are so well described!. the books follow the trials and tribulations of the girls as they are transported to New South Wales, and Sydney in its early days. full of interesting details, laugh out load passages and suspense. 

I was hooked and as soon as book one was finished I started straight into book 2!. it helped there was the F1 qualifying to wait up for last night, which gave me plenty of reading time and I had bk2 finished in 24hrs!.

now I have to wait til about November for book 3 in the series. 

in reading the notes at the end of book 2 I read a sentence that sums up beautifully the authors ability to instil humour into her work –

” Francis Rossi (1830s Sydney police magistrate and superintendent) should not be confused with the Francis Rossi in Status Quo” Deborah Challinor

I highly recommend these 2 books, as well as Band of Gold, to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, and early settler type stories.


4 responses »

  1. Ooh these sound good, I’ll keep an eye out for them at the library. I seem to find myself browsing the C section a lot so hopefully I’ll come across them!

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