Hello Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; The Boy With The Blue Trousers by Carol Jones. I cannot wait to share my review of this fully unique history, so settle in grab a cuppa and enjoy.
On the goldfields of 19th-century Australia, two very different girls are trying to escape their past.
In the mulberry groves of the Pearl River Delta, eighteen-year-old Little Cat carries a terrible secret. And so, in disguise as a boy in blue trousers, she makes the long and difficult passage to Australia, faraway land of untold riches where it is said the rivers run with gold.
Violet Hartley has arrived off the boat from England, fleeing scandal back home. Like the Chinese immigrants seeking their fortunes on the goldfields, Violet is seduced by the promise of a new frontier. Then she meets Little Cat, a woman who, like her, is trying to escape her past.
As their fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined, their story becomes one of freedom, violence, love and vengeance, echoing across the landscapes of two great continents.
This is such an original and beautiful book, from the moment I read the back blurb I was fascinated by it and I can happily say that the words within the book did not disappoint. I love that there is so much diversity within the story, not only with the characters but with the setting s too, as we get transported to China and Australia, we see such differences in their cultures and the similarities too and you get a real view into two completely different women’s lives and yet they are so alike.
This is the first I have read by Carol Jones, and it certainly won’t be the last, I thoroughly enjoyed her thoroughly engrossing, articulate and beautiful writing. I was engaged and hooked from the moment I opened the book, it is hugely fascinating it covers a time and subject in history that I didn’t really know a lot about, it was a breath of fresh air it is new and original and I really liked discovering and learning about this aspect of history.
The Boy with Blue Trousers ticked all the boxes for me, not only is immersive brilliantly researched and detailed history, a unique and inspiring story which will leave you thinking; wow! But with its central character’s being women who are so different yet they are facing the same obstacle in their lives, they are both wanting to be free. There are themes running throughout the book such as women facing adversity within a mans world, sexism and racism with both their cultures it can, unfortunately, resonate with today and that s what is so captivating because as much as it is very much a work of historical fiction you can see how relevant it is for today.
Little cat lives on her family’s Silk farm around the Pearl River Delta, but she has a secret and she must escape staying alive so she decided to go to Australia, the only way she will be allowed the voyage she has to change her name to ‘Strong Arm’. She knows that the famous Goldfields would make her the money she needs and provide her with the much sought-after safety, that is of course if she can survive. She is hoping that this will be just the things she needs to be able to make her own way, to move forward and forget the events of her past. English woman; Violet Hartley, is also running away from a traumatic and scandalous past, she has come to Australia just like Little Cat so she can make a new life for herself, once she reaches Australia she takes a position as a governess on a sheep farm, but unfortunately for Violet, her new situation is not that much better than the one she has just run away from. I really liked both of our female leads they ae strong, resilient, courageous and both have hidden depths and vulnerabilities they try to hide.
Don’t think that this is just about two women trying to make their way in a new land and forget their past, there is a really strong dangerous undercurrent that had me gripped, a plot that surrounds Little Cat. It was thrilling, suspenseful and ingenious, it had me at the edge of my seat, you never know which way the story will turn or for that matter whether or not our heroines will actually find their much sought after freedom, it will grip you right to the very end.
Overall, a hugely captivating read, one that I would highly recommended to any reader who loves their historicals!
This was a complimentary copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed as a part of this blog tour
About the Author
The Concubine’s Child, set in 1930s Malaya, was my first novel for adults. It was inspired by twenty-five years of annual visits to Malaysia to stay with my partner’s family. The Boy with Blue Trousers , set in China and Australia, is my latest historical fiction. Previously, I have written more than thirty books for younger readers.
Born in Australia, I have spent most of my life in Melbourne, working as an English and drama teacher and as an editor of children’s magazines. I have been a full-time writer since 1999.
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