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Remember Me - Lesley Pearse
Member Name: dippykitty
Remember Me - Lesley Pearse
Advantages: Mary is a fantastic character. Kept me hugely engaged throughout.
Disadvantages: None for me.
It's been a while since I read a Lesley Pearse book. A while back, I'd read so many that I was getting a bit bored but having downloaded a fair bit of chick lit to read on my recent holiday, I wanted something to balance my reading list out. Onto my Kindle went this particular book when I noticed that it was going fairly cheap on Amazon.
Many of Lesley Pearse's books are set in the past and this is no exception. The story begins in the 18th century, when Mary Broad, a young girl from Cornwall, is convicted of highway robbery and sentenced to hanging. Expected to be hung, Mary is surprised when instead, she's sentenced to transportation. After spending time on a prison hulk, she finally learns where she will be transported to: Australia. There are plans to set up a convict colony in the Botany Bay area and Mary is to be one of the many prisoners sent out there to aid this. It's a long and hazardous journey out there and the convicts are in for quite a shock when they eventually arrive. It's a long way from what many of them expected and the battle for survival is just beginning.
If you're familiar with my book reviews, you'll know that I've really enjoyed most of Lesley Pearse's work (bar the odd one that didn't grab me) and have pretty much raved about some of them. This is another one that I loved. I started reading it in the lounge/bar area one evening and I was so gripped that I actually stayed down there another hour and a half after most people had left because I didn't want to put it down! I found the story extremely gripping.
Like most of Lesley Pearse's heroines, Mary is a strong woman. She has to be to have any chance of surviving first the prison hulk, then the transportation and finally life in the convict colony. Plenty of convicts die before they arrive at the new colony and if Mary hadn't been so determined and ruthless in the prison hulk, no doubt she would never have seen Australia at all. I had so much admiration for the woman. The struggles that she faced on a daily basis were horrendous and some of the things that happened to her would have broken most people. What makes the story all the more remarkable is that it's based on a true story. Mary was a real convict and really was set out to the convict colony. The basic plot is all true, bar a few characters who were made up. Her character is really brought to life and you can just imagine her adventures in your mind.
Needless to say, I thought this book was fantastic. The subject matter is not nice at times as I've hinted in my plot summary but it's a fantastic insight into a part of history that I wasn't at all familiar with before reading this book. If you're a fan of Lesley Pearse already, I'd urge you to read this book. If you've yet to delve into her work, this is definitely one of the best in my opinion (along with Belle and Never Look Back, the latter of which I will review at some point too).
Summary: The story of a British convict woman transported to Australia.