This is day three of the Book Advent and phew this is some journey! Three continents and I have travelled some distance but that is the beauty of armchair travel since you can be as quick or take your time with your journey and never leave your seat. Aaah bliss
Well today we are off to another continent and we could not be further away from our last setting of Paris if we tried.
I admit to not having read a lot of literature set in Australia but my love of ML Stedman’s book – The Light between Oceans has made me change my mind.
This is a fictional account of a fascinating and brutal period of Australian history
Story in a nutshell –
Will is a young man in London who is condemned to death for stealing and he is sent to New South Wales, the penal colony that England founded on the Australian continent.
With the first part of the book set in and around the Thames, we see how life is tough for Will and his family and begin to see how and why such a man should be sent over to a penal colony.
It is when the action moves to Australia that I am most fascinated by this book and the story contained within. Life gets better for will at this point as he starts making money and it seems to be a journey and at sometimes an unpleasant one as it draws us into the story of the settling of Australia and the problems that derive from taking land that has been occupied by natives-in this case the Aborigines.
This is the disturbing part of both the story and the book but it is worth reading as Grenville writes well and creates characters that you really see come off the page and stand up for themselves. She does not shirk from the realities of history and doesn’t let her characters either how ever much i wanted will and Sal to do things differently.
The family are set to inhibit and to try and conquer a new world, with a harsh hot climate and struggles with those who lived there before them.
New South Wales is a fascinating backdrop and although I have never been nor would I want to travel to it in this time period, it would be fascinating to learn more of its history by going to the places in the book and appreciating the story of its peoples.
It is the story of early Australia and is a fascinating journey