Author: BAKER KLINE CHRISTINA
The sweeping narrative of The Exiles offers a rich perspective on three women’s lives, two English convicts and an orphaned Aboriginal girl – in nineteenth-century Australia.
Naive Evangeline lost her position as a governess and her grip on her destiny when she found herself pregnant out of wedlock. After spending months in Newgate prison, she doesn’t know whether she should be grateful or despairing when she is moved to a prison ship. What she does know is that her child will almost certainly be born during the journey to Australia. On board, Evangeline strikes up a friendship with Hazel, practically a child herself, sentenced to seven years transport for stealing a silver spoon.
Great Britain considers Australia an unpeopled colony, but Mathinna is the orphaned daughter of the chief of the Lowreenne tribe, one of a number of peoples whose lands have been seized and their way of life subject to criticism, study, and missionary zeal. Adopted by the new governor of Tasmania and brought to Hobart to live with the family, Mathinna is treated more like a curiosity than a child.
Evangeline, Hazel, and Mathinna will become part of the story of the creation of a new society in the land beyond the seas.