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    Historical Fiction - Romance

    The Boy with Blue Trousers by Carol Jones Historical multicultural story of love, honor, family and so much more. Two women from opposite corners of the world end up far from home in Australia. Both are doing their best to survive and hopefully thrive. Both have dreams and desires, wishes and hopes, pasts to run from and futures to embrace. How they arrive in Australia and then find the direction they will move into the future is a beautifully written enthralling story that kept me reading without stop from first page through last. Little Cat wants more than she believes she will find in the Chinese village she grew up in. She has been at her twin brother’s side so much that she has learned to fight, listened to stories and has dreamed of “something more”. She has enjoyed her life in the village, has friends, loves her family and contemplates never marrying but instead is searching for that “something more” she dreams of. One day something happens that changes her life drastically. To save herself and her family she undertakes the journey to the gold fields in Australia taking the path that was supposed to have been taken by her twin brother instead. There is a man bent on vengeance on her trail and it is a close call for her more than once in this story. Violet Hartley is a governess that ran into a spot of trouble in England. When offered the opportunity of a new life in a new country she grabbed it and headed to Australia. She has big dreams that are destroyed, again, by circumstances that occur while doing her job. Not wanting to ever give up and still clinging to her dreams she heads out on the same trail that Little Cat and many other Chinese immigrants will take hoping that when she reaches her destination her future will become clear and she will prosper. What I liked: * The descriptions of life in China with the women talking, the families interacting, the expectations mentioned and the “feel” of the culture as it was presented in the story * The characters – well developed and easy to relate to * The story – swept me up and drew me in * That it wasn’t easy for anybody...not really * The men in the story – Young Wu, Lewis, Little Cat’s brothers, Big Nose, Uncle Wu… * The cultural aspects of the story * Pretty much everything, really What I did not like: * The baddie that caused Little Cat to flee * Not knowing what became of Little Cat’s twin brother (is his story to be told in another book?) * Having to say goodbye when the book ended. Thank you to NetGalley and Head of Zeus for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars
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    Goldfields

    A well researched and fascinating story that binds together the cultures and perspectives of 19th c settlers, both English and Chinese, in the goldfields of Victoria.
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    Engaging read

    A very necessary novel that tells Australia's gold story from women's perspectives, one English, the other Chinese.
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    A well researched book.

    Astounding research. Sympathetic treatment of the subject matter. Lovely prose.
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    The Boy with Blue Trousers

    Great read, the further in you get, the intensity grows. Excellent story about the Chinese coming to Australia to try for gold, mixed with our favourite heroine’s journey here to escape a crisis at home and face the obstacles in a new country. The story is cleverly mixed with the story of another favourite English heroine already here and struggling to make a life in a new environment. The two end up sharing a journey and their lives tell of an interesting story developed in such an interesting way. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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