I present to you another historical fiction novel where we see the horrors of history as perpetrated against the poverty stricken lower classes. In this story, a family is torn apart by their desire to better themselves. It’s 1812, Thomas and his father attend a secret meeting to hear the thoughts of fellow textile worker Ned Ludd. On the way home, Thomas is arrested on charges of sedition for taking an oath at the meeting. The story follows him and his wife, Molly, as he is arrested and sentenced to 7 years in Australia. We see the horrible conditions in the prison and Molly’s desperation to raise money to join him once he is deported.
We follow each in separate timelines. Molly does everything under the sun to earn enough for passage to Australia, all the while she is thwarted at every turn by her ex, the man who turned in her husband. His desperation to win her over was sickening, he is simply the worst kind of manipulative man. Thomas has his own level of desperation and we see each as they struggle to balance their love for one another with the practicalities of day to day life.
I really enjoyed this education in this sliver of UK history, all the more so once I read the afterword and how closely this story was to the truth. Molly’s loyalty and drive were so impressive, she is every woman we hope our ancestors were: tenacious, kind and resilient. The male characters including Thomas were all quite unlikable and I felt like no one really cared for Molly the way they should, in my opinion.
Thanks to Love Book Tours for the gifted copy of the book. All opinions above are my own.
What’s the last historical fiction novel you enjoyed?