The Night Flower by Sarah Stovell.

20130810-111540.jpgThe Night Flower by Sarah Stovell is released via Tindal Street and is available from 15th August 2013.

The Blurb:

Two girls are brought together under the worst of circumstances: a prison ship taking them from London to “parts beyond the sea. Barely surviving an appalling voyage, the two arrive just before Christmas into the blinding sun of the strange new island: Van Dieman’s Land. Here they are sent to work in the town’s nursery, where women of ill-repute give birth before being sent for correction. The nursery is run by corrupt, debauched Reverend and his idealistic son, who soon takes a fancy to Miriam. But Rose, her best friend and close confidant, watches jealously and makes plans to reverse their fortunes. This tale takes the reader on a thrilling Dickensian adventure to a Tasmanian “frontier town” where anything could happen and “morality” is made by monsters

 

The Night Flower tells the story of Rose (a well-educated Victorian governess,) and Miriam, a poor Gyspy girl, who are both transported to ‘the parts beyond the sea,’ for the crime of stealing. I found this book quite heavy at the beginning. The dialect used took me a little while to get used to but once I got into the rhythm of the book and the fact that each character gets an alternative chapter, I was hooked despite it being quite an uncomfortable read about prejudice and stigma.

This book had moments of heart-break, hope and frustration (mostly at how the female characters were treated by those around them and this is a big theme throughout the book.) It was good to see it from a female point of view. Plus, being into history, I like books which give me a fictional account using historical events as its basis.

The Night Flower gives us a look at another angle of Victorian age and I found it interesting and original.

With Rose’s story, you gradually, through diary entries find out what made her commit her crime. It doesn’t give everything away too soon. With Miriam, you find that she is a victim of her circumstance. As the book progressed, I began to like the characters although Rose’s motives were some I questioned at some points in the book – like when Miriam finds herself in trouble.

The setting is a little gloomy but it fits the plot of the story and Sarah Stovell sets this well. I found that I wanted to know about the background of some of the supporting characters that didn’t get as much development as the main characters – like Ma Dwyer. Her past is hinted at and I would quite happily read another book based on her too.

Overall, I enjoyed this book very much and I recommend it.

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Laura
I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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