THE CONVICT’S DAUGHTER
BY KIERA LINDSEY, ALLEN & UNWIN.
It’s a crying shame we don’t see more of these incredible stories of Australian convicts and their often remarkable children. It’s set in 1848, a time when life is challenging for just about everyone in the small colony of New South Wales. Fifteen-yearold Mary Ann Gill is kept close and worked hard by her tough convict mum and dad, who’ve become the respectable owners of a fine hotel. When she tries to elope with the flighty son of a gentleman settler, all hell breaks loose and the drama is played out in court, much to the glee of the scandalloving newspapers.
Kiera Lindsey takes the facts of this story of her great, great, great-aunt, places them in the turbulent politics of the time, and fleshes them out with a decent but fair dose of imagination. Like her ancestor, she flouts convention with flair. LM