Tuesday 29 September 2020

Book Club Book Review: The Wreck by Meg Keneally

The Wreck
Meg Keneally

Publisher: Echo Publishing 
Publication date: 1st September 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 384
RRP: $29.99AUD
Format read: Paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via Beauty & Lace Book Club 
About the Book
1820, London.
Sarah McCaffrey, fleeing arrest for her part in a failed rebellion, thinks she has escaped when she finds herself aboard the Serpent, bound from London to the colony of New South Wales. But when the mercurial captain's actions drive the ship into a cliff, Sarah is the only survivor. 
Adopting a false identity, she becomes the right-hand woman of Molly Thistle, who has grown her late husband's business interests into a sprawling real estate and trade empire. As time passes, Sarah begins to believe she might have found a home - until her past follows her across the seas... 
My Review

I did wonder how I would like this story as I do love Historical Fiction however I’m not a big fan of political based Hist Fic. I’m happy to say this story isn’t heavy on the political side. Sarah is very likeable. She has had a hard life and I wanted her to succeed. She is feisty, strong and intelligent. She speaks her mind.

The wreck is a story of people pushed to their limit by poverty and hunger. Set during a time when even a peaceful protest has deadly repercussions when the Crown’s yeomen intervene.

"I will go with the men when they rise, though most do not want me to do so. Women hunger, and women die, so women must also fight."

Sarah McCaffrey is a strong female lead. She is not afraid to risk her life to fight for what she believes in.

The story quickly moves from London to Sydney, New South Wales and we see that conditions are much the same as back in England. The rich are protected and prosper whilst the poor suffer and go hungry. We follow Sarah as she tries to fight for equality but not really knowing who to turn to or where to start. All avenues seem to lead to violence and bloodshed being the only answer.

Set in the early 1800’s, Keneally paints a vivid picture of a growing Sydney with boarding houses, taverns, the busy harbour and the shanties and muddy streets of The Rocks.

Through a mix of characters Meg Keneally shows the constant danger and degradation some women endured, selling their bodies on the street, to earn money to live a meagre life. In The Wreck strong women come in many forms and even when they are fighting the same fight as the men they are sneered at and looked down upon.

Sarah is helped and taken under the wing of some kind people. Firstly the captain of the ship she escaped London on and then arriving in Sydney alone and penniless she is helped by business woman and philanthropist Mrs Thistle.

Mrs Thistle is a remarkably drawn character and a key player in changing the lives of women through benevolence rather than violence.

These strong women paved the way for more strong women to keep fighting to be heard, It, as we know, is a long fight through generations and I enjoyed reading Meg Keneally’s take on where it all started.  

4.5 / 5  ⭐⭐⭐⭐½ 

About the  author

Meg Keneally worked as a public affairs officer, sub-editor, freelance feature writer, reporter and talkback radio producer, before co-founding a financial service public relations company, which she then sold after having her first child. For more than ten years, Meg has worked in corporate affairs for listed financial services companies, and doubles as a part-time SCUBA diving instructor.

She is co-author with Tom Keneally of The Soldiers' Curse and The Unmourned, the first two books in The Monsarrat series. Her first solo novel was Fled, and The Wreck is her second. She lives in Sydney with her husband and two children.



Challenges entered: Aussie author challenge  #AussieAuthor20
                                 Australian Women Writers Challenge #AWW2020
                                 Historical Fiction Challenge  #2020HistFicReadingChallenge


Monday 28 September 2020

Mailbox Monday & Life This Week - September 28th


Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Life This Week is a meme created by Denyse Whelan Blogs where bloggers share snaps of what is currently happening in their lives.

Happy Monday!

School holidays started today and I'm looking forward to spending some time with the grandchildren over the next two weeks.

Our hot water system was on its way out so we had it replaced last week and as you would expect once you replace one appliance the others seem to go out in sympathy and we needed to replace our fridge only a few days later. We struggled to find a fridge the same size that would fit into the spot so we had to buy a smaller one which I am sure we will get used to over time. Now I'm just waiting for the washing machine to break down.

We celebrated our eldest daughter's birthday during the last week. When I'm not reading I'm knitting squares to make a picture throw for my granddaughter.

I found these fantastic patterns at https://daisyandstorm.com/ 
I will be using 30 squares for the throw.  
Books received over the last two weeks:

From the publisher:
Soldiers by Tom Remiger

Breen sometimes thought sourly that Tiger Jackson would have made a good fascist. He told unreliable stories, he liked power and admiration, and he had all three military virtues- self-belief, luck, and an eye for the main chance. Despite all this, Breen liked him. Somehow it was impossible not to.

After the death of Corporal Daniel Cousins in what is apparently a training accident, a young officer, Lieutenant Breen, becomes obsessed by the case. Was Cousins murdered by one of his own?
Breen's investigation, as well as his unanticipated love affair with a superior officer, threatens the unity of his comrades as they wait for the suffering to come in the Battle of Crete-one of the defining encounters of World War II.
Lucky's by Andrew Pippos
Lucky's is a story of family. It is also about a man called Lucky.
His restaurant chain.
A fire that changed everything. 
The mystery of a missing father.
An impostor who got the girl.
An unthinkable tragedy.
A roll of the dice. 
And love: lost, sought and won again, at last.
Trust by Chris Hammer

He violated her past and haunts her present.
Now he's threatening their future.
She breathes deeply, trying to quell the rising sense of panic. A detective came to her home, drugged her and kidnapped her. She tries to make sense of it, to imagine alternatives, but only one conclusion is possible: it's her past come to claim her.
Martin Scarsden's new life seems perfect, right up until the moment it's shattered by a voicemail: a single scream, abruptly cut off, from his partner Mandaly Blonde.
Racing home, he finds an unconcious man sprawled on the floor and Mandy gone. Someone has abducted her. But who, and why?
So starts a twisting tale of intrigue and danger, as Martin probes the past of the woman he loves, a woman who has buried her former life so deep she has never mentioned it.
And for the first time, Mandy finds denial impossible, now the body of a mystery man has been discovered, a man whose name she doesn't know, a man she was engaged to marry when he died. It's time to face her demons once and for all; it's time she learned how to trust.
How to Make a Life by Florence Reiss Kraut

When Ida and her daughter Bessie flee a catastrophic pogrom in Ukraine for America in 1905, they believe their emigration will ensure that their children and grandchildren will be safe from harm. But choices and decisions made by one generation have ripple effects on those who come later—and in the decades that follow, family secrets, betrayals, and mistakes made in the name of love threaten the survival of the family: Bessie and Abe Weissman’s children struggle with the shattering effects of daughter Ruby’s mental illness, of Jenny’s love affair with her brother-in-law, of the disappearance of Ruby’s daughter as she flees her mother’s legacy, and of the accidental deaths of Irene’s husband and granddaughter.
Books I've won:
I won this gorgeous edition of Tashi plus a little mini version of the book both signed by the author.
Tashi by Anna Fienberg

"Well, it was like this. Come and I'll tell you about the time I tricked the last dragon of all." So says the daring hero, Tashi, in his first book of adventures. Tashi comes from a place very far away. He escaped from a war lord and flew to this country on a swan. He's as brave as he's clever, and he tells the best stories. Tashi books are ideal for young readers, or for reading aloud, and they're loved all over the world. 
 I would love to hear what books you received in the mail recently!