To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
So well written. Illustrates the feelings of the individuals vividly in the mind of the reader, which I find to be very evocative of ones own emotions. I really love this author and the authenticity she brings to her work.
This fact inspired fiction is a little light romance. The story is engaging and the characters are easily classified in categories of black and white. Most of the characterisation I found to be rather stereotypical and the dialogue fairly trite, but none-the-less it did help to bring the events to life somewhat and I did come away with more of an idea of Macquarie's early life than I started with. Although apparently based on the letters of many of the real life characters, I followed up with some research as some of the events described were pretty unbelievable. As it turns out the author has engaged in some wild whitewashing and loose interpretation of history. If you're looking for something of the sort of historical rigour of a Hilary Mantel or Phillipa Gregory, you won't find it here, even what facts are known have not been adhered to where the author choses to divert. So by all means enjoy these stories as fiction and inspiration to learn more about the real Lachlan Macquarie, but don't take it too seriously.
Rather than review each of the four books individually, it seems more appropriate that I review the complete series as a whole. Books one and two ( "BY EASTERN WINDOWS" and "THE FAR HORIZON" ) I found to be beautifully written, full of the atmosphere of time and contrasting locations. The characters are richly portrayed with great skill and become very alive. The stories are fascinating, gripping and very educational in many ways, bringing historical facts and characters to life. I thoroughly enjoyed these books and looked forward every time I had to stop reading, to the next time I could start again. I also feel I learned such a lot about the period and the situation at the time in the two countries, and also the stark contrast with life, time and isolation on the Isle of Mull. The inate strength of character of Lachlan Macquarie, coupled with his determination to be both fair and just is beautifully portrayed. Books three and four, "Jarvisfield" and " The Wayward Son" I found to be a slightly different type of read. Jarvisfied had many moving events and the characters were still richly portrayed and I realize that factual history necessitated the unfolding of the book, which I still enjoyed, but I felt a loss of the richness, style and depth of the first two books. I personally felt that books three and four could have and in fact should have been the one book. While the Wayward Son was bound again to follow historical facts, and the story in itself was ok, I feel it was rather drawn out and too much in the genre of the " breathless, yearning love stories of lesser novelists."
Having read the Liberty Trilogy by this author, I thought I'd be in for another treat and by heck, I was! I knew nothing about Lachlan Macquarie and his rise through the military, becoming quite famous. The author has a way with writing biographies in such a story-telling style. I was captivated with all the characters and followed them along. This is a brilliant story - highly recommended.