Follow the story of a free-born colonial in 1800's Australia.
Title: Diary of a Prodigal: Early Australian Settler's Tale (The Rourke Saga Book 2)
Published: January 16, 2017
Published by: Amazon Digital
Content rating: G
From a historical viewpoint, the author successfully captures the racial tensions existing at the time. Native peoples are considered "barbarians of the most unenlightened kind." Moreover, conflicts bristle between English and Irish, as well as between those whose ancestors were prisoners and those free born. All are struggling to find their place in the new nation.
The epilogue is instructive and educational, informing the reader that among other items, Sydney is the oldest city in Australia, about the protracted Aboriginal wars, as well as documented facts about parts of Thomas' life. History buffs will enjoy the description of "real" money versus the colonial dollar. The first Female Factory for women prisoners was built in 1804, followed by a new one in 1821 that housed over 1200 women who were put to work including breaking rocks and untwisting old rope under harsh conditions. A sort of marriage bureau even operated within the factory where bachelors with appropriate certification could choose from a line-up of female convicts, and a marriage might be formalized.
The author's disclaimer is that "while the story should only ever be viewed as fiction, the concept for this book was inspired by the life and times of my great grandfather, Thomas Humphreys." I "heard" pride in the voice of the author. Congratulations on this excellent historical fiction, Mr. Humphreys.
Sandra Olshaski's disclaimer: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.
Roy Humphreys is a former I.T. professional who is now retired and living in the southern suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales. A keen trail runner and fisherman, Roy enjoys the simple lifestyle that close proximity to the joys of the Royal National Park and Sydney coastal regions provide. However, as any family man with ten grandchildren would know, free time to pursue personal pleasures is not always easy to come by. A chance discussion at a family reunion years ago revealed that he was blessed with paternal ancestors who lived extraordinary lives. Research revealed stories of Irish rebellion against British rule, convict ship mutiny and pioneer settlement in early colonial Sydney. The stories and folklore provided him with a rich source of material for historical fiction books which capture the essence of his forebear's history while providing readers with easy-to-read, fast-paced action/adventure stories.