“Faith in the Great Southland” by Mary Hawkins

In a courtroom in England, 1835, a man stand accused of murder.  He, John Martin, is the son of Lord Farnley, but Farnley will not recognize him as his son.  Since John’s mother passed away, he had been living in Spain with her family who despised him.  He has travelled to England to meet with his father and tell him that he’s his son.  However, the son from Lord Farnley’s second marriage is determined that John will not do that.  When he is accused of murder and sentenced to be transported to South Australia for the rest of his life.

Elizabeth Waverly is determined to go home to South Australia to see her father.  He had sent her to England to be educated and now that she was done, she wanted to come home.  She did not tell her father that the ship on which she would be sailing was a prison ship, the same one transporting John Martin.

The inhumane treatment of the prisoners and the illnesses that they suffered were despicable to Elizabeth.  She helped the only doctor on board with caring for those suffering souls.  In that capacity, she met John and found him to be a gentleman, educated, and kind…not the sort of man to do murder.  After they landed, circumstances prohibited them from being together.  The story is so interesting because learning something about the penal colony in Australia and the transport of prisoners from England helped Australia become the country it is today.  “Faith in the Great Southland” by Mary Hawkins tells this story very well.  I enjoyed this book.

I received a Kindle copy of this book from NetGalley.com in return for posting a review.

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