- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 995 KB
- Print Length: 343 pages
- Publisher: HQ Fiction (1 April 2019)
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers (AU)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07HYG8QRZ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 7 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #54,945 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
HarperCollins Publishers (AU)
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In a Great Southern Land Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Mary-Anne O'Connor nee Best grew up in Wahroonga in the Bushland Shire of Hornsby-Kuringai, northern Sydney. The youngest of six children, her childhood was spent exploring the local bush and playing music with her siblings and close neighbours. An avid reader, she devoured her mother Dorn's extensive library and was often found trying to finish a chapter by torchlight late at night. She also began to fill every blank piece of paper in the house with stories and drawings of her own and dreamt of becoming a writer one day.
When she was twelve her father Kevin Best left his established career in the stock-market to become one of Australia's best-loved artists. The perseverance and ultimate triumph she witnessed during those years left her inspired to follow in his footsteps and pursue her own creative aspirations. A colourful marketing career followed, along with the completion of education/arts degree with specialities in literature, music and environment. During this time she also co-wrote two books with her father, A Brush with Light and Secrets of the Brush. Work then began on her first major novel, Gallipoli Street. This work gained critical acclaim and finished at #3 for debut novels in Australia in 2015. Her second novel Worth Fighting For was published in October 2016 and her third war story War Flower was released in October 2017.
Mary-Anne has drawn on her love of the Australian bush, her fascination with her own family history and her deep, abiding respect for the men and women who carried our nation through turbulent, formative times to produce these novels. It was written in her office at home, surrounded by her grandfather's war memorabilia and beneath a long window that overlooks her beloved gum trees.
Mary-Anne still lives in the Bushland Shire with her husband Anthony, their two sons, Jimmy and Jack and their very spoilt dog, Saxon.
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In 1851 (in Liverpool, England), young Eve Richards loses first her father and then her position. Her struggle to survive sees her arrested, convicted and transported to New South Wales. A chance encounter with Kieran Clancy in Parramatta sees Eve assigned to a good position with a Captain and his wife.
Kieran is restless, and gold-fever draws him from the farm to the Victorian goldfields. He’s destined to meet Eve again, and perhaps they’ll have a life together. But kind-hearted Kieran, trying to help a mate, finds himself caught up in the events of the Eureka Stockade. And Eve, thinking him lost, is shipwrecked while sailing to Adelaide.
If you want to know how it all ends, then you’ll need to read it for yourself. It’s a lovely story in which both coincidence and luck have a part to play. If you enjoy historical fiction set in colonial Australia, then you may wish to add this novel to your reading list. While some aspects of the story worked for me better than others, I enjoyed Ms O’Connor’s depiction of events and places. And I always enjoy a (mostly) happy ending.
Note: My thanks to NetGalley and HQ Fiction for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.
The story is very strongly built around the Australian history of that time. There is a glimpse of early Sydney and the difficulties faced by both newly arrived convicts and the poor early settlers. There are the gold mines in both NSW and Victoria and the hardships faced by the miners trying to eke out a living in very tough conditions. There is also a strong emphasis on justice and equity.
There is a lot to like about this story because ultimately it is about hope. Unfortunately, for me, there was just too much going on - an attempt by the author to weave in as much history to the story as possible. The result is that the pacing is quite slow for much of the book. I struggled to stay interested in the story at times and it felt like a much longer book than it actually was. Having said that, it is a good story. The characters are nicely rounded and believable and I think that this was what kept me turning the pages. I wanted confirmation that all would be well and I got it in the end.
Eve's is an Irish servant who's charged for a crime she didn't commit, she is sentenced to life and is sent to Australia aboard a convict ship. Her journey to Australia was horrible, so much harder than Kieran's and his families.
They both faced challenges in the new world and life was hard for both of them.
From the farmlands of NSW, to the gold fields of Ballart and the battlefield of the Eureka stockade.
It's a tale about finding justice, fighting for equality and finding love in a new country.
I did however find story to be a bit long, drawn out in stages and that's my only complaint.
If your interested in reading about the settlement of Australia and the challenges that new settlers and convicts faced, you should read this book! I gave the book three stars.