Branch Librarian Opunake & Manaia Library Plus
It may sound like a terrible thing for a librarian to say, but all of my life I have never been a true fan of New Zealand authors. I can hear the gasps of horror echoing around the country! However all is not lost and I may be on the road to recovery having just finished A Tattooed Heart by Deborah Challinor.
What an amazing story this is! Set in 1832 this is the final book in the Convict Girls saga and while I confess to not having read the previous three books, the author writes in such a way that I was perfectly able to understand the story’s background without doing so. The historical facts and setting in early Australia’s convict times are very accurately researched and so I found myself literally following Friday, Sarah and Harriet around as they moved through the trials and tribulations of their daily lives. I too lived in fear of the dreadful Bella and worried about Friday’s vices and addictions.
The book is so convincing I almost forgot I was reading fiction instead of a true account of the characters’ lives, and that for me makes an excellent story. There are some surprises and twists and yet the story maintains a really nice balance all the way through despite each character being really strong and unique. I feel it would have been so easy for the author to have concentrated too much on such a vivid character as Friday and allowed her to take over the flow of the story but this didn’t happen much to my delight.
I am now inspired to read the rest of the series from the beginning. I recommend the book and the series to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or books set in Australia’s past.