this was mind blowingly good

The Exiles – Christina Baker Kline 

Australia, Britain, prisoners, women, indigenous, historical fiction. 

Set in the 1840s. A young woman, Evangeline, a sheltered governess finds herself falling for someone who never comes to her rescue after she is accused of a crime she didn’t commit. She is shipped off on a ship to Australia where criminals and convicts are sent to serve their sentences. While on the journey, she meets Hazel, a young woman who is excellent at herbalogy and pickpocketing. During this time, she realizes that she is pregnant and faces challenges that no woman would ever think of. After a horrible accident leaves the child parentless, Hazel takes up the duty to become the child’s parent. Once they land in Australia, Hazel is separated from the child. She meets another child whose name Mathinna explains to her about the orphanage. It will take a lot of time for her to reunite with the child and find safety as well as a home for her, the child, and now Mathinna. 

I hardly read historical fiction for a reason. Sometimes they are boring or slow. This was not the case at all. I simply loved the pacing and the plot. My heart was torn for these young women who faced these hardships that no one should really face. I didn’t really know the origins of Australia and this taught me how the English colonized by basically sending prisoners to serve sentences there rather than in England. The language and writing kept me reading this until the last page. I simply didn’t want to willingly put this book down. I suggest you go get this book to read because it is one hell of a story that I have read.


didn’t like this trendy book… sorry!

Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerri Maniscalco

Mystery, detective, serial killers, Jack the Ripper, London, 19th century, Great Britain, Victorian, young adult, fiction,

Rating 4/10

Audrey loves criminal forensics and working in her uncle’s lab as his apprentice engages her interest in that field of study. She takes on the recent murder case of a victim of Jack the Ripper. She is immediately intrigued and further her own investigation of who murdered these women at night. When more bodies turn up, she notices a disturbing pattern that leads to her sheltered world shattered. 

This was a little too hyped up and I don’t understand why folks liked this book. I am glad I borrowed this novel from the library. I predicted who was the murderer so fast and the book was yawn inducing in my opinion. I’m sure there is a demographic that loves this type of stuff but this was not my cup of tea. That is all I can say. However, for those who love these type of novels and the plot then it’s for that demographic.