Totally absorbing story of the lives of two unfortunate, but amazingly courageous people. They overcome the horrendous obstacles thrown at them by the inhumane, draconian justice system that was 18th Century England. I can see a TV series on the horizon. A truly great read, could not put it down.

Denise Wood

I was on the Ship helplessly watching the degradation of these convicts. Some innocent, paying the price of brutality of mankind in desperate times.

You can break a man’s skin, but not his spirit. Cullen survived. I owe him. Elizabeth endured hardship, developed strength. I sat next to her along the way, in knowing her passionate nature would emerge through her destiny.

Beautifully written, characters exposed carefully but honestly. I flinched and smiled when I finished reading this book. A must read for all of us. A visit to Norfolk Island is now essential.

Debra Hammer

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read (Historical Fiction)

1 November 2019Published on

Verified Purchase


Janeen,  I just loved the story.  All so close to the bone – I wonder whether James Cullen is your ‘hero’ as James Jordan has become mine ?

Loved the weaving of young John into Cullen’s life – showed what a thoughtful, tender, big hearted man he was.

The uncertainty and drama of their imprisonment was real – the Sirius drama was also very real to me.

A wonderful portrayal of Elizabeth and the tragedy of loss with her babies William and Stephen – I must admit to a few tears at the small cradle and the coffin lined with a blanket at the burial – had to get up and get another cuppa!

Loved it!