I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way. I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.
Square 10 For the 16 Festive Tasks- A Book of Forgiveness
Things are changing quickly for 15 year old Bridie. Her beloved father has died, her mother quickly remarried their border, Alf Bustle and is pregnant. Now, Alf has decided to move the family from their London home halfway across the world for more opportunities in Australia. Bridie’s mother and Alf are hoping that the voyage and leaving London will help Bridie forget her father, move on and grow up. However Bridie Refuses to give up the memory of her father, especially his stories which is why Bridie defies her mother and brings his storybook along. The voyage on the Lady Sophia is dangerous, lengthy and difficult for all the passengers, particularly the pregnant ones. Bridie quickly makes friends with a Welsh couple, Rhys and Sian. Rhys seems to have a secret or two himself and is also a storyteller. Sian has a mystery about her and is about as far along as Bridie’s mother. The ship’s surgeon wants a clean and uneventful journey, but as the voyage is prolonged it seems that a story is just what everyone on board needs.
Bridie’s journey is one of self-discovery, growth and sadness. Something that struck me between the changing narratives of Bridie and Rhys was the many reasons that people leave the place that they have always called home, whether it is new opportunity, new identity, or a new beginning, they are willing to look for these things in a place that they have never known. With the exception of the very beginning and very end, the entire story takes place on a ship. For a ship in 1841, I was amazed at the process taken to keep things clean and free of disease, though it didn't always work, as well as the monotony of life on a ship. I found Bridie's character very easy to relate to, I loved that she held onto the stories of her father and loved him unconditionally, despite her mother's wishes. I especially felt for her when she came into womanhood among the cramped, public conditions onboard the Lady Sophia. I enjoyed watching her evolve through her friendship with Rhys and Sian and their own stories. I got caught up myself in the Welsh stories and the unique way they were told through Rhys and Sian, I could imagine their vivacious performances. Through their stories, the storytellers offer healing and acceptance to themselves and others. What touched me most of all was how everyone onboard seemed deeply touched by secrets and sadness while continuing on with their lives, and the impact of a single story.
This book was provided for free in return for an honest review