My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Pages - 543
Publisher - Penguin
Blurb from Goodreads
She made a mistake and now she'll never see home again....
Mary, a Cornish mariner's daughter made the biggest mistake of her short life when she steals a silk hat. Convicted and sentenced to be transported to Australia, she endures horific conditions aboard the ship before landing in a brutal and barbaric country
It will take all her courage just to survive.
But Mary is also determined to make something of herself in this rugged man's world. And she dreams that one day she will find a way of crossing the cruel sea that lie between her and home....
Based on a true story, Remember Me brings Mary Broad vividly to life in this moving story of a women triumphing against overwhelming odds.
Based on a true story, Mary Broad brings to life the horrors that a somewhat trivial crime could bring about in that period of time. 1786, shy of her twentieth birthday, Mary is sentenced to death by hanging, for the crime of stealing a silk hat. Spared her death sentence, she is sentenced to be shipped to Australia to live out her sentence and be put to work. From sentencing, the journey across the sea and eventually landing on the shore and the colony to work and fight for survival.
I am not a huge fan of historical fiction however Pearse has a way with words and draws the reader in quickly, vested in the character you need to keep reading to see how she fares. The conditions Mary faces is horrendous, mixed with other criminals rape and violence are rife. Struggling to survive, get her share of rations, keep away from the body fluids building up in an enclosed filthy environment, Mary uses her wits and all available resources.
It is hard hitting at times, some of the things Mary either sees or endures makes for uncomfortable reading. We experience relationships, betrayal, love, loss, adult and children dying as well as the casual attitude to death as such a common occurrence. This book packs a punch and will take you on an emotional roller coaster. I have read this author before and I will read her again, 4/5 for me this time.