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 even 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 enjoyed this book and am really looking forward to
follow up book called Girl of Shadows which continues the story up book called Girl of Shadows which continues the story and 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 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 early 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
of a and then the author was a little mean leaving the book to finish on a cliffhanger I uite enjoyed the descriptions of early Sydney and I think I will have to read the next in the series 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 excellent she knew exactly when to move from one character to another without missing a beat The characters were all very different and interesting as was everything else I eagerly look forward to reading 2 in the Convict Girls series 5 What a happy well written discovery this was I loved itDeborah Challinor has created four real women very different from each 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 even a fairly extensive discussion of the real history of the times following the end of the storyIt s tender dark uplifting infuriating mysterious and ultimately satisfying Conditions in Newgate Prison are described to the point that ou gag at the stench in the cramped uarters and the putrid water closets made worse by the diet of fart inducing gruel It opens November 1828 LondonFriday Woolfe blew warm air onto freezing hands in fingerless gloves Fog hung heavy over the street deadening shouts and laughter from the nearby taverns and making a small ellow moon of the solitary gas light on the corner It felt like it might soon snow Feels like that cold s creeping straight up my fanny Bets she grumbled to her friendBetsy Horrocks her hands jammed into her armpits stepped back and inclined her head It is Your skirts are all caught up at the back They giggled madly as Friday reached around and rearranged her clothing that s teach her to suat in alleyways She adjusted the angle of her straw hat with its silk rose though she d left her hair unbound as its bright copper colour never failed to attract the cullies The reality of leaving families and everything they ve ever known hits suddenly as they wait on board the ship waiting to sail They sleep crammed together in small bunks and survive the doldrums and some horrific weather before finally arriving at Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta Female Factory. Four women on a perilous journey to a new world can rely only on their wits to survive and each 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 oung Rachel Winter and reliable and capable. .much of a
And prisonThe story moves along at a good pace with alternating points of view telling all of their stories They are very distinct girls so it is always pretty easy to know who s speaking There s the red haired 18yo whore the raven haired scarred and slightly scary pick pocket and jewel expert a gentler seamstress lass with nut brown hair and a very fair almost white haired ethereal child woman Circumstances alone have created these unlikely unbreakable friendshipsThere are some evil characters and rough and ready folk waiting to take advantage of everyone especially oung women They were rough times and the author makes sure we experience the bitterness of the English winter and the breathless heat of a Sydney summerThis book leaves the friends and their enemies in their various situations in Sydney but with the promise of to come I m looking forward to the next two in the series 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 each 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 and hardship but also colossal acts of kindness friendship and loveThis beautiful and heart 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 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 NewEngland to New 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 oung 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 enjoyed Behind the Sun forSydneytownI have always been fascinated with this period of Australian history and particularly enjoyed Behind the Sun for 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 each 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 endure 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 each other especially when tr. 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 enemy 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. .
Agedy strikes again With strong characterisation Behind the Sun is a fascinating exploration of women s history in Australia and an enjoyable read i challinor plans to follow enjoyable read I Challinor plans to follow Behind the Sun with Girl of Shadows expected in 2013 and I am looking forward to reading about the women s adventures in SydneyTown As the individual lives of four oung London women slowly came together they finally met in the notorious Newgate jail where they all awaited the results of various criminal offences Because even 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 streetwisenot unexpected Friday Woolfe was a streetwise and knew her way around she befriended and cared for oung Sarah Morgan Rachel Winter and Harriet Clarke Before long the four oung women were as close as sisters they looked out for each other alwaysWhen the convict ship the Isla left bound for New South Wales the horrors of seasickness meant only eleven 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 eye 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 characters are incredibly real the bond between the four girls was deep and everlasting Behind the Sun is an amazing tale of historical fiction which I have no hesitation in recommending highly 35 I enjoyed 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 Deborah Challinor and I shared a stage at the Historical Novel Society Australasian conference in Melbourne a few ears 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 Guide to Glorantha Volume 1 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 Winteroung 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 star. Istic doctor James Downey Rachel catches the eye 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 each othe.