Wednesday, 11 October 2017

#bookreview ~ Forgotten Places #Australia #HistFic @JohannaCraven

Forgotten Places
 by Johanna Craven


Van Diemen's Land, Australia. 1833

English settler Grace Ashwell flees an abusive lover in Hobart Town, with six-year-old Violet in tow. In her head, escape is easy: find work in the northern settlements and earn enough for passage home to London. But the terrain beyond the settled districts is wilder than Grace could ever have imagined. She and Violet find themselves lost in a beautiful but deadly land where rain thunders down the sides of mountains, the earth drops away without warning and night brings impenetrable darkness.

Deep in the wilderness, they find a crude hut inhabited by Alexander Dalton, an escaped convict long presumed dead. Hiding from civilisation in an attempt to forget his horrifying past, Alexander struggles to let Grace into his world.

When Violet disappears, Grace's fragile trust in Alexander is put to the test. And while she searches for answers, he will do anything to keep his secrets inside.

Inspired by the true story of the Macquarie Harbour bolters; one of the most horrifying events from Colonial Australia's bloody history.


What did I think of the book?

Is it possible to come back from Hell and start again?

Travelling to Australia was meant to be a grand adventure, but Australia is nothing what Grace Ashwell imagined it to be. Instead of an adventure, it becomes her worst nightmare.

Alexander Dalton had no choice about coming to Australia, but when the opportunity arose he escaped his bondage, and for the last eleven years he has hidden in the forest. The last thing he wants is a woman, who is running from an abusive lover, to intrude upon his solitude.

I opened this book, read the first paragraph, and I found myself smiling because from that short excerpt I knew this book was going to be great. Oh my days, was I in for a surprise because this book wasn't great it was fantastic! Forgotten by Johanna Craven was simply unputadownable. From that first paragraph, I was drawn into this desperate story of Grace and Alexander as they struggle to survive and find a purpose to their lives in the wild and unforgiving Australian outback. The pages flew by while I lost myself in this unforgettable story. In fact, I stayed up half the night so I could finish it, there was no way I was going to put this story down, I wanted to find out how it ended!

The story is incredibly well crafted, and it kept me guessing until the end. When I thought I understood where the story was going Ms. Craven threw a massive curve ball into the plot, which left me with my mouth open in surprise! I really wasn't expecting that!

Forgotten is inspired by a true story about the Macquarie Harbour bolters and it raises some interesting questions about that time and how prisoners were treated. It really brought this era to life.

If you are a lover of historical fiction then Forgotten by Johanna Craven really should be on your To Read list!

I Highly Recommend.


Links for Purchase

About the author

Johanna Craven is an Australian-born writer of historical and new adult fiction. She is also a film composer, music teacher and pianist. She has lived in Melbourne and Los Angeles and is currently based in London.

Her more questionable hobbies include ghost hunting, meditative dance and pretending to be a competitor on The Amazing Race when travelling abroad. 


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