Fled by Meg Keneally

First lines The sea had killed him, they said. 2. Publisher: Allen & Unwin. 3. A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach By Stanhope Forbes, Public Domain via Wikimedia
A true story imaginatively brought to life from sketchy historical reports.
I enjoyed this book.

Based on the true story of Mary Bryant, “Fled” reimagines Mary Bryant as Jenny Gwynn, a convict transported to Australia in 1788 to serve a seven-year sentence for highway robbery. With her two young children, and a group of male convicts (including her husband), she escaped the penal colony in a stolen six-oared cutter.

“The natives watched her from the edge of the forest – a few men holding spears. But their grip on the weapons was casual as though they had simply been holding them for so long they had forgotten them. They offered her no violence as she walked up, made no greeting, but turned their heads slowly as she passed.”

“The news jumped from one person to another, as news there did: the rorting, and the powerlessness of the government to do much about it.”

“Afterwards, Jenny tried to pinpoint the moment when things changed. The look or word that beckoned something dark to slither out and wrap itself around Dan’s mind …”

Quotes from the book.
  • The AU Review: “Fled” is clearly the product of meticulous research and consultation, and the result is a richly drawn portrait of the life of a working class woman transported to Australia in the 18th Century, one which will fascinate those who are already interested in the period, and those who simply love a good historical read.

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