Read Behind the Sun by Deborah Challinor Online


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 young Rachel Winter, and reliable and capable seamstress, HaFour 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 young Rachel Winter, and reliable and capable 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 idealistic doctor, James Downey. Rachel catches the eye of a sinister passenger with more 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 other ......

Title : Behind the Sun
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 19365860
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 480 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Behind the Sun Reviews

  • Brenda
    2019-03-11 21:11

    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 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 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 each other always.When 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 forever.Transferred 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 them…I 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.

  • PattyMacDotComma
    2019-03-18 23:54

    5★What a happy, well-written discovery this was. I loved it!Deborah 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 story.It’s tender, dark, uplifting, infuriating, mysterious, and ultimately, satisfying. Conditions in Newgate Prison are described to the point that you gag at the stench in the cramped quarters 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 yellow 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 friend.Betsy 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 squat 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 (and prison).The 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 friendships.There are some evil characters and rough and ready folk waiting to take advantage of everyone, especially young 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 summer.This book leaves the friends and their enemies in their various situations in Sydney, but with the promise of more to come. I'm looking forward to the next two in the series.

  • ☼♄Jülie 
    2019-03-04 00:13

    Loved it, great read. This book was absolutely jam packed with story and fact several stories which all flowed seamlessly together and combined to make the overall story even more credible. Great characters with individually complex personalities kept the story flowing from one to the other without losing pace or interest.It 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 Colonies...incredible women.Every single page held interest and intrigue, making it a real page turner.I thoroughly 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 soon...hopefully a Christmas present.I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to lovers of Historical Fiction or Fiction in general. 4.5*s.

  • Kathryn
    2019-03-13 01:21

    3.5★ 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, 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 myself 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 below!!(view spoiler)[On 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 employers. Rachael is not mentally sound enough 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)]

  • MichelleG
    2019-03-14 22:00

    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 family.The 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 love.This 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.

  • Steve
    2019-02-22 02:15

    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 much of a resolution, and then the author was a little mean leaving the book to finish on a cliffhanger. I quite enjoyed the descriptions of early Sydney, and I think I will have to read the next in the series.

  • Kate Forsyth
    2019-03-06 02:08

    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, quite a few of them set in Australia. Behind the Sun is the first in a quartet 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 Sydney.There is Friday Woolfe, a cheeky and irreverent prostitute, Sarah Morgan, a cool and intelligent thief, Rachel Winter, young and beautiful and far too naïve, 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.

  • Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
    2019-03-21 22:22

    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 Sydneytown.I have always been fascinated with this period of Australian history and particularly enjoyed 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 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 quite the card shark, growing the funds the women need to buy meagre comforts within prison.Much 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 tragedy 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 up Behind the Sun with 'Girl of Shadows' (expected in 2013) and I am looking forward to reading more about the women's adventures in SydneyTown.

  • Jacq
    2019-03-07 03:10

    Written for WAM: book with another beautiful cover, however this one did not intrigue me in the slightest… To me it looked a little bit too much like a romance, a bodice ripper… Oh I could not have been more wrong!It’s historical fiction and if only we were taught history like this!Deborah Challinor has the qualifications, with a PhD in History, and more importantly she has the soul of a storyteller.Behind the Sun draws on threads of history and weaves them into a tale of four girls: Friday, Sarah, Harrie and Rachel. Though sometimes it’s hard to remember that they are just girls, all under twenty, from different backgrounds, and by one means or another they find themselves bound for the Colony. They strike up a friendship before they leave Newgate Prison and you can almost feel the misery seeping through the lines. The desperation, frustration and acceptance of what they did, why they did it and the consequences… I want to tell you more – but I don’t want to give it away. It is a tale of enduring friendship, just like the dust jacket promises, and it does bring to light the predicament of women convicts: How they fared through the months in prison, the boat journey to Australia and then the conditions they lived in and with. You could get bogged down in those details – or feel like you’re being lectured, however it doesn't read that way (apart from a few medical ailments recorded on the ship). Instead you have the gift of this friendship and four distinct personalities that rise above it, and because of it, survive.And the story doesn't end there. It’s a trilogy and I can’t wait to read what happens next!

  • Kathy
    2019-02-27 22:14

    ‘Behind the Sun’ was my first Deborah Challinor venture – and wow, I am very impressed. I really, really enjoyed this beautifully written book. Beginning in 1820's London and finishing in 1830's old Sydney Town I loved following the lives of the four main female characters who were transported for various crimes to Australia. I always love a good convict read and this period of Australia’s history and this is one of the best I have read. Challinor has a talent for vividly drawing the reader into the story and location of story for eg for the four months they were at sea I felt the challenges that were faced and the growing bond between the girls like I was there with them! This is historical fiction at its best….be aware at the end though – and I didn’t know this until I was on the last page – there is Book 2 coming out this year sometime!!! Now I just need to find out when and start counting down!!!!!

  • Brittany
    2019-03-08 20:10

    It was good. A couple of the characters, you really came to just love and were glad for the character development that occurred. But I did have a hard time with the crassness of the book. And I do understand that was to come with the subjects and characters of the book. Just, ya know... Sometimes I felt like the s word did not really fit there. Also, the second half of the book was way more enjoyable and attention grabbing than the first part.

  • Laureen
    2019-03-15 23:59

    I really enjoyed this story and of course I am great fan of HF although, being Australian, I often get a bit disappointed about how convict transportation to this country sometimes is portrayed unrealistically. I felt this story was well conceived and researched where female transportation was concerned. I liked the writing enough to give the 2nd book in the series a go. Hopefully I won't be disappointed.

  • Morgan Patterson
    2019-03-02 21:02

    I was hooked from the first page and devoured this so quickly. I can't wait to continue reading this series and hope it remains as compelling. While it must have been hideous to be a convict being deported in the 1980's, Challinor almost makes the reader envy the women with her story of friendship and support.

  • Vicky
    2019-03-17 22:55

    I enjoy Challinor's writing style. She turns every day events into the history of the time (or the other way around) and her characters have depth and feel real. She even manages an 'information dump' in a convincing way by turning it into dialogue or as part of a diary. There is obviously a sequel as this book leaves the story very much up in the air. A great read.

  • Tanya
    2019-02-25 23:12

    Last third was great. I won't bother with the next one in the series.

  • Lisa
    2019-02-20 03:18

    Friday Woolfe, Sarah Morgan, Harriet ‘Harrie’ Clarke and Rachel Winters are four women in Newgate Prison, awaiting transportation to the colony of New South Wales. All four are guilty, but possess vastly different in personalities and experiences. Bound together by the experience of prison and transportation, they become as close as sisters.I was excited by the premise of Behind the Sun: taking four unique individuals and showing their experience of being convicts transported to Australia. And true, there are some things I enjoyed in the book. The friendship between the four women, the attention to detail, the premise, how readable it was… But I just found Behind the Sun to be really clumsily done. The writing was … not great. The point-of-view would shift in each scene, characters were inconsistent (and often interchangeable, despite their supposed differences), there were characters that were just stock figures, there was so much drama it was practically a soap opera, a lot of insignificant detail… I mean, did we really need a scene of Harrie using her bowels after being constipated? I don’t think so. All up, a disappointment.

  • Paula
    2019-03-22 02:00 one of three....cant wait for the next one

  • Kiwiflora
    2019-03-05 00:04

    This is the first novel in a series aboaut four young women, convicted felons, who are transported to the penal colony of Botany Bay in the late 1820s. As the descendant of one such young woman, I have more than the average interest in their story and what life would have been like for such a young woman of the time. The author is Australian convict royalty indeed, being descended from three convicts, one of whom arrived in Botany Bay on the same ship as my ancestor - the Lady Juliana in 1789, also infamously known as the Floating Brothel, but that is another story.This story is set some forty years later, when the settlement of Sydney was growing and becoming more established. Ships carrying convicts were still regular arrivals until 1840, with the women convicts being offloaded and transferred to the Parramatta Female Factory Precint, a short distance up the Parramatta River. The author says in her notes that 20% of Australians, and no doubt a fair few New Zealanders, are descended from women who went through the factory gates.The book begins in London, where Friday, Harriet, Sarah and Rachel are each caught and convicted of crimes ranging from prosititution, stealing some material, stealing jewellery, and being destitute. Although they are from vastly different backgrounds, one they meet in Newgate Gaol - truly lovely place - they forge an inseparable bond which sees them through the voyage to New South Wales. Much of the book is taken up with the voyage, providing a detailed account of shipboard life which was actually not too bad compared with being in Newgate Gaol. The food was reasonable, the captain was a reasonably enlightened man, it seems the women in general got on, and I imagine once the distress of leaving England and loved ones, plus the sea legs were found, for many of the women, their lives were vastly improved. For some not so much, as the ship did carry male passengers, and of course the crew. Amongst other happenings on board, Rachel catches the eye of one particular passenger, the consequences of which reverbarate long after the ship's arrival in Botany Bay.Their arrival in Botany Bay signals the beginning of their seven years of punishment beginning with the transfer to the Parramatta Factory where they stay until suitable employment is found, usually in a shop or as a domestic servant. Being a novel, life for each of the girls takes many and interesting turns, but throughout they have each other and the loyalty between them is very strong.This is excellent historical fiction. The author has extensively researched London life in the early 19th century, court transcripts of trials, the back stories of many convict women - I was amazed to read that about 65% of convict women could read and around half of these could write. Newgate Gaol, shipboard life and crews, early Sydney, the Parramatta Factory and the lives of many female convicts in Sydney and the surrounds are almost as interesting as the characters. The four main characters are interesting and complex young women, with quite different back stories who are thrown together in what must have been a frightening time and facing an unknown future. The scene is well and truly set for the next novel in the series, and I look forward to reading that in due course.

  • Sam Still Reading
    2019-03-11 00:13

    I always feel a sense of guilt when I’ve left a review book on the pile for some time, but this time I feel really, really guilty. Why? Because Behind the Sun is a fantastic book, exactly the type of historical fiction that I really enjoy reading. The only commiseration I have for letting it linger is that I don’t have to wait as long for the second book in this series to be released (sometime in 2013).If you enjoyed The Potato Factory or Australian colonial history, you’ll love this book. It is loaded with historical detail (I would have read this book more quickly had I not stopped to do further research on Seven Dials, prison hulks, Newgate Gaol and Parramatta Female Factory amongst others) and the characters are all distinctive and multifaceted with engaging (if sad) stories to tell. Let me tell you about each of them…Friday Woolfe is a prostitute known to the law. When the theft of a gentleman’s goods is discovered, she’s sent to gaol with the promise of transportation to the far flung Sydney Town. Behind a cunning knowledge of London’s underworld lies a good heart and a sense of justice to her friends. Harrie Clarke is a thief – drawn to desperation to try to feed her mother and siblings. She’s soft and kind-hearted, the mother hen of the group. Sarah Morgan was a jeweller, but is now one of the best thieves in London. When the leader of the gang dobs her in, she’s sent to prison. Alert and calculating, she never misses an opportunity. Finally, Rachel Winter had eloped with a soldier only to find herself on trial for theft. Naïve, but with a wild streak in her, she is the youngest of the crew who Friday, Harrie and Sarah all look out for.The plot is simply summarised, but compelling – each of the girls’ crimes, time in Newgate, the ship journey and arrival in Sydney. The friendship between the girls is strong and they look out for each other against fellow inmates, unscrupulous men and the turnkeys (or prison wardens). Various events lead to the need for money and protection, with each of the girls learning how far they will go for a true friend.Challinor’s strengths beside her characters include the ability to retell history in a fascinating way. Like I mentioned previously, I did some of my own research just because I wanted to find out more about the times when Friday, Harrie, Sarah and Rachel lived – what did the places look like? What other things were they expected to do in the gaol? She has really brought the period to life. There are also enough plot threads loose for ample material for the sequel, Girl of Shadows. (I must admit though, I really want to know more about an event regarding Mr Downey from the ship and his findings to see if my own suspicions are correct!) There will be four books in this series and I’m really looking forward to reading them to learn more about my country’s history – and see what the girls get up to!Thank you to Harper Collins Australia and The Reading Room for providing me with a copy of this book.

  • Katy
    2019-03-10 19:04

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Set in 1820's London and finishing in 1830's old Sydney Town. The book follows the lives of 4 girls being transported for various crimes to the Parramatta Female Factory. To be honest, I actually won this book from Harper Collins, so it may not have been a book I would necessarily have picked up under my own steam. In saying that I have decided to step outside of my box this year and try new authors and styles. I am glad this book landed in my lap and I gave it a go. I am now awaiting the follow up book Girl of Shadows.I loved the characters in this book. Challinor has done a marvellous job in brining each of the girls to life and setting the scene for a wonderful continuation. I loved the historical content of this book. Thorough enough to give a wonderful depth, but not too heavy that you feel bogged down in description. Take into that a bit of poetic license as well, that the author admits to in her notes. Friday, Harrie, Sarah and Rachel will take you on a wonderful journey, not just across the sea's to Sydney but also into their lives. Friday is by far the mother hen of the crew, and somewhat dominates the story. Harrie and Rachel are very intricate woman and have a beautiful naïveté about them, but as time goes on their true depth and personalities become a very powerful and emotional aspect to the story. Sarah is the quieter of the four woman, the watcher of the group... I have a feeling her character as it became stronger towards the end of the book with further develop into Girl of Shadows I am sure. If you love an historical novel, and set in Sydney give this book a go... You won't be let down.

  • Wendy Howard
    2019-03-13 23:08

    This is the review I wrote for my local library..."Behind the sun" by Deborah ChallinorMeet Friday, Sarah, Rachel and Harriet. Four young women, thrown together by their need to survive, form a friendship in the notorious Newgate Gaol. Life in the gaol is tough - life-threateningly tough - and you need friends or money (or both) to survive.In time the inmates of the gaol are put on a ship and transported to New South Wales. The trip out is an endurance in itself, having to face not only the perils of long ocean voyages - including down into the Roaring Forties and freezing conditions - but the threats posed by enemies made amongst the other prisoners and travellers on the ship.At Sydney they're transported to the Parramatta Female Factory, to wait for an assignment out working for the settlers and former convicts in the area. A new place to learn how to survive, quite different to what they're used to. They're not happy about the prospect of being split up, but make the most of what they have.I enjoyed this book. The descriptions of life in those times and places were very good, not pulling any punches about just how bad they were.My only consternation was discovering this was not a standalone novel as I'd thought when I began it, but the start of a new series! The next book "Girl of Shadows" has not been published yet, though there is a teaser for it at the end of this book.

  • Freda Pierce
    2019-03-14 21:53

    Great book. The first time I have read this author, bought the book as an iBooks special because it was cheap and so glad I did. The story of four young women who meet in London's Newgate gaol and are transported as convicts to NSW. Refreshing to read a book where the female characters carry the story without it being a romance. While one of the characters is pining for a lost love, the other three women have more important things to think about, like survival! The historical context was well done and felt real, these women struggled, for instance when they approach a bank for assistance they are asked "where's your husband?" The writing was easy to read, dialogue was well used without being overdone and the descriptions of life inside Newgate gaol and on the convict ship were evocative. Sometimes after you read a book within a short while the characters are forgotten, not the case with this book, I feel like I will remember the characters for a long time, especially the feisty Friday. I will definitely read the other books in the series.

  • Chloe
    2019-03-21 23:16

    I looked forward to reading this book ever since I discovered it here on Goodreads (thanks, Brenda!). I am happy to say I was not disappointed!Surprisingly, I find myself a bit of a historical novel fan this year - who would have guessed?! And this being Australian history is even more intriguing. It's clearly evident that the author has done a LOT of research and includes a note at the back detailing the small things she changed to fit her story.Four young women, through different means, all end up in the crowded London goal. They meet. They all get transported to New South Wales together. Their friendship is unbreakable. The majority of this book is the journey by ship to Australia, then a small part of their first months in Australia. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series! Like, totally stalking the library excited!In the cake world of books, this is most certainly a rich chocolate cake :)

  • Therese Noble
    2019-03-11 00:02

    This is the first of Challinor’s convict girls’ series. While the four novels can be read as stand-alones I, unintentionally, began with The Silk Thief, the third in the series and then read the fourth thinking that would do me. However, I just had to know the girls back stories in more detail so now I’ve read them all. Behind the Sun introduces Friday, Harriett, Rachel and Sarah who met in Newgate before being transported to New South Wales and The Female Factory. The stories are woven with authentic and fascinating detail and the girls’ devotion to each other is what helps each of them to bear the many devastating vicissitudes of their lives. Often their hopes are thwarted, they are devastated by death and plagued with a desire for revenge. There is no honour among thieves but that only applies to the secondary characters. The girls’ never waver in their loyalty to each other. I really enjoyed this novel and recommend it but – read them in order.

  • Urszula
    2019-03-21 01:08

    From the very first page the reader is transported to year 1820. The begining is set in London, in the Newgate Gaol, where 4 ladies meet. They are as different from each other as possible. Yet they form a very strong friendship that will help them cope with the harsh life of a convict.It was very intersting to read about the notorious Newgate Gaol, the long and dangerous sea voyage and finally about Sydney Town and the opportunities awaiting the heroines.As expected this story had everything: fantastic heroines, heartache, villains, revenge and most of all true frienships.Overall it was a great read. An eye opener for someone who knew nothing about Australian history and the people who worked very hard to make it home.

  • Vanessa
    2019-02-21 20:04

    A beautifully written story which was very well researched and felt authentic and true to the time. The story centres around four female prisoners being sent over from London to Sydney in Colonial times. The female characters were all unique, interesting and appealing and the friendship they formed was very touching.For me though, the storyline felt a little too predictable, and the ending was set up almost too well for a sequel. An obvious sequel set-up sort of irks me a little. I am just not sure I liked it enough to come back for more. I feel kind of satisfied with what happened in the first one to let it be. But an enjoyable and thorougly researched read non the less.

  • Robyn Gibson
    2019-02-20 00:19

    Four London girls are convicted on different offences and sent to Newgate Gaol before being transported by ship to New South Wales. A story based on fact, describes the gaol and life on board a convict ship, the friendships that are built and the totally horrible people they come across is really interesting. Their months on board ends at Parramatta Female Factory, the remains of which is still in Parramatta to this day.

  • Brenda Wallwork
    2019-02-24 03:00

    This is the start of a great series about 4 women convicts transported to Australia around 1828 for menial crimes. it tells you what its like and what happens to them on the crossing which takes about 4 months and then when they first arrive. i have read the books on my kindle and when I like them I buy them in paperback/ Hardback. There seems to be more in the books. I have just read this one again and really enjoyed it.

  • Lyn Ford
    2019-03-17 00:00

    Fantastic book if you like Australian historical fiction very well written and researched, one of the best books I have ever readI know it was a book of fiction but some of the conditions described in the book must have been close to what the convicts had to endure before and after thearrived in AustraliaI would recommended this to anyone who likes historical fiction especially Australian as there certainly aren't enough books on this subject out therewhich are such a pleasure to read

  • Amelia
    2019-03-05 19:00

    I enjoyed Challinor's book "Kitty" a couple of years ago, finding it a relaxing and pleasant read. While some aspects of this book were a bit slow and frustrating, and a couple of the accident survivals far too miraculous considering the state of medicine at the time, all-in-all I found this a good book and I want to know what happens to the girls next, although I suspect I can predict a chunk of it, given the clues left at the end of this book!