Ters are incredibly real the bond between the four girls was deep and verlasting Behind the Sun is an amazing tale of historical fiction which I have no hesitation in recommending highly Inspired by the lives of Deborah Challinor s ancestors Behind the Sun is the first installment of a historical fiction series featuring four convict women transported from England to New South Wales in the late 1920 s Incarcerated in Newgate goal Friday Woolfe a streetwise prostitute befriends Harriet Clarke a timid seamstress the prickly thief Sarah Morgan and the young and desperately naive Rachel Winter The unlikely foursome form a bond that supports them through the trials of imprisonment the long journey to Australia and the unknown fate that awaits them in SydneytownI have always been fascinated with this period of Australian history and particularly njoyed Behind the Sun for it s historical detail Challinor holds a PhD in history and the novel reflects her knowledge though she admits to tweaking a fact or two to better tell the story The novel begins in England where we are introduced to the women and their crimes All stand accused of theft of some type and are incarcerated in London s notorious Newgate Goal awaiting sentence It is Friday and Harriet who first find ach other shortly joined by Sarah and Rachel Their disparate personalities create an interesting dynamic whose strengths and weaknesses all contribute to their survival Friday is afraid of nothing Harriet is calm and practical Sarah is clever and calculating and surprisingly Rachel who claims to be 15 but is only 13 turns out to be uite the card shark growing the funds the women need to buy meagre comforts within prisonMuch of the novel focuses on the journey to Australia where one hundred and fifty women were crowded onto a ship for the 7 month sail Life aboard the ship is difficult though the women find their own ways to ndure Harriet becomes an assistant to the ship s doctor Friday continues to ply her trade with the ship s crew Rachel however falls victim to Bella Jackson a notorious and ruthless madam whose manipulations results in tragedy for Rachel leaving her friends swearing to take their revenge Arriving in Sydney the women are taken to the Parramatta Female Factory before being re assigned Despite being separated the women continue to support ach other specially when tragedy strikes again With strong characterisation Behind the Sun is a fascinating xploration of women s history in Australia and an njoyable read I Challinor plans to follow up Behind the Sun with Girl of Shadows xpected in 2013 and I am looking forward to reading about the women s adventures in SydneyTown Behind the Sun is a heart wrenching story about 4 women who are convicted of petty crimes and sentenced to be transported to Colonial NSW Australia All 4 women form fast friendships and soon come to rely on ach other as familyThe arduous 4 month long sea voyage from London to Australia is fraught with peril and unspeakable acts of violence depravity and hardship but also colossal acts of kindness friendship and loveThis beautiful and heart wrenching tale shines a light on what life was like for the less fortunate and the depths to which the human spirit can survive strive and thrive I will definitely be continuing on with this series 5 What a happy well written discovery this was I loved itDeborah Challinor has created four real women very different from ach other who become as bound together as family while imprisoned in Newgate and then transported to Sydney Not once did I notice a word or description that seemed out of time or place as so often happens with poor historical fiction It all rang true and there s A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, even a fairlyxtensive discussion of the real history of the times following the The Shadow Reader end of Istic doctor James Downey Rachel catches theye of a sinister passenger with than honour on his mind When they finally arrive on the other side of the world they are confined to the grim and overcrowded Parramatta Female Factory But worse is to come as the threat of separation looms In the land behind the sun the only thing they have is ach othe.
45 starsI ve long been drawn to Australian historical novels and never tire of reading them Author Deborah Challinor is a new find for me This is the first book of hers I read and I couldn t put it down The writing was xcellent she knew xactly when to move from one character to another without missing a beat The characters were all very different and interesting as was verything The Power Of A Choice else Iagerly look forward to reading 2 in the Convict Girls series 5 stars simply for the fact that I could not put this down While I found some of it rather difficult to read it was with the understanding that the arly part of the 1800s in England and Sydney was a difficult time without many of the benefits that we have now The story built up nicely to something that approximated a climax which left me a little shocked There was not much of a resolution and then the author was a little mean leaving the book to finish on a cliffhanger I uite njoyed the descriptions of arly Sydney and I think I will have to read the next in the series Loved it great read This book was absolutely jam packed with story and plotin fact several stories which all flowed seamlessly together and combined to make the overall story ven credible Great characters with individually complex personalities kept the story flowing from one to the other without losing pace or interestIt gives some terrific insight into what it must have been like for female convicts before during and after their transportation on a convict ship from the UK to the Coloniesincredible womenEvery single page held interest and intrigue making it a real page turnerI thoroughly The Case for Paleolibertarianism and Realignment on the Right enjoyed this book and am really looking forward to the follow up book called Girl of Shadows which continues the story and which I understand is due out soonhopefully a Christmas presentI wouldn t hesitate to recommend this book to lovers of Historical Fiction or Fiction in general 45s 35 stars Deborah Challinor and I shared a stage at the Historical Novel Society Australasian conference in Melbourne a few years ago and so I was keen to read some of her work She s a New Zealand author and historian who has written over a dozen books uite a few of them set in Australia Behind the Sun is the first in a uartet following the adventures of four young women in the 1820s who are all convicted of various crimes and transported halfway around the world to the convict settlement of SydneyThere is Friday Woolfe a cheeky and irreverent prostitute Sarah Morgan a cool and intelligent thief Rachel Winter young and beautiful and far too na ve and Harriet Clarke a seamstress who stole some cloth in the hopes of saving her family from starvation Moving from the filth of Newgate Prison to the hardships of the notorious convict ships and arriving at last in Sydney the four women find their friendship and courage tested to the limits Written with verve and zest Behind the Sun has bright moments of humour and warmth and some very dark moments of cruelty and loss The story races along at a cracking pace but not once is historical veracity or vibrancy sacrificed for narrative momentum A really great holiday read with some truly unforgettable characters 35 Injoyed this I listened to it as an audiobook and thought the narrator did a good job of the different voices I liked the characters Friday Sarah Harry Harriet and Rachael and I liked that it was partly set on the tall ship on which the women sailed to the penal colony of New South Wales I felt sorry for their situation at times and will look forward to reading the next one I think the second one will follow on very closely from this one and it will be important to remember what happened in this one For this reason I am including multiple major spoilers in the tag below so that I can check back to remind myse. Four women on a perilous journey to a new world can rely only on their wits to survive and ach other Irreverent and streetwise prostitute Friday Woolfe is in London's notorious Newgate gaol awaiting transportation there she meets three other girls intelligent and opportunistic thief Sarah Morgan naive young Rachel Winter and reliable and capable.
Lf of what happened whenever I get around to reading the next one So for anyone who hasn t read this book DO NOT read the spoiler belowview spoilerOn board the Isla not sure about spelling since I listened to the book Rachael gets drawn into the sticky web of fellow convict Bella Jackson to whom she owes a favour Bella operates a shipboard brothel servicing the sailors and the paying passengers Rachael is not working for Bella and is not a whore but Bella offers up Rachael s services as a whore to one of the paying passengers Gabriel Keegan telling Rachael that he is interested in paying somebody to do his laundry so that she will go along to his cabin willingly He rapes and injures her mentally as well as physically A little later Rachael confronts Keegan who pushes her from one deck to the next causing further horrific injuries which the ship s surgeon Dr Downie was surprised didn t kill her Shortly after this the Isla docks in Sydney the women arrive at Parramatta Female Factory and are duly assigned to mployers Rachael is not mentally sound nough to be assigned and she remains at the factory As a result of the rape she falls pregnant and after 9 months of mental anguish and severe headaches only relieved by laudanum dies in childbirth After Keegan s attack Rachael had been cared for by Friday Sarah and Harry all of whom had vowed to make Keegan pay for the misery that he made Rachael s life After her death they follow Keegan lure him into an alleyway and beat him to death Unfortunately somehow Bella Jackson now married and therefore assigned to her husband becomes aware that the three of them have killed him so she has a hold over them which she will be sure to call in in the next book The ship s surgeon liked Harry although she was very upset when he told her that he carried out an autopsy on Rachael s body so that may not go anywhere Another of the paying passengers Matthew Cutler also liked Harry so perhaps that will produce some results hide spoiler As the individual lives of four young London women slowly came together they finally met in the notorious Newgate jail where they all awaited the results of various criminal offences Because ven petty offences were criminal acts in 1820s London the verdicts of transportation for all four of them was devastating but not unexpected Friday Woolfe was a streetwise prostitute and knew her way around she befriended and cared for young Sarah Morgan Rachel Winter and Harriet Clarke Before long the four young women were as close as sisters they looked out for ach other alwaysWhen the convict ship the Isla left bound for New South Wales the horrors of seasickness meant only leven of the over one hundred and twenty women and children on board didn t succumb Out of the four friends only Harrie remained healthy she found herself helping in the ship s hospital under the watchful ye of Dr James Downey also second in charge of the Isla As the days slowly made their way into weeks the prisoners settled into an uneasy routine But with only women on board there were some among the crew and paying passengers who were not at all honourable When tragedy struck as the ship was only a few weeks from the coast of New South Wales Rachel was one whose life changed foreverTransferred to the Parramatta Female Factory on arrival they found a place which was overcrowded and not dissimilar to Newgate Prison But as the four friends waited to be assigned their uncertainty and sense of looming loss was paramount How could they remain together Was there a way but they were convict girls with no say in what would happen to themI absolutely loved Behind the Sun by Aussie author Deborah Challinor My first by this author and the first in the Convict Girls series I can t wait to read the next Beautifully written the charac. Seamstress Harriet Clarke On the voyage to New South Wales their friendship becomes an unbreakable bond but there are others on board who will change their lives forever Friday makes an implacable nemy of Bella Jackson a vicious woman whose power seems undiminished by her arrest and transportation while Harriet is taken under the wing of an ideal.
Born in Huntly she holds a PhD in New Zealand history from the University of Waikato Challinor has worked as a fulltime writer and historian since 2000Primarily known for her historical novels Deborah Challinor’s first published books were non fiction history books including the best selling Grey Ghosts New Zealand Vietnam Vets Talk About Their War Hodder Moa Beckett 1998Her first histor