Monday, 11 December 2017

Forgotten Places by Johanna Craven

I've read a book by this author a few months back and thought it was excellent. So no hesitation to pick up this historical fiction novel. The history plays a bit of a supporting role as it is more about the two main characters in this story. But it was a surprising and good story. 5 stars.



This book is set in the 1830’s and inspired by a true story. An escaped convict hides out in the Van Diemen’s land bush (now Tasmania) after 11 years of hiding he has forgotten how to speak. Then into his silent world stumbles a young woman with a little girl in tow.
This was a great book that would also work as a stage play as most of the action is between the two main characters Grace Ashwell and Alexander Dalton. It feels quite claustrophobic as the two are enclosed by the unforgiving forest. She is not sure if she can trust him but needs him to survive. He is bewildered by having suddenly another human being around and isn’t sure what to do. He is also haunted by the ghosts of his dead comrades that escaped with him. Bit by bit it is revealed what happened to them both.
I was very surprised by this book as it didn’t go in the direction I thought it would and the second part was a real treat as the plot turned and twisted. Recommended if you like historical fiction or thrillers and ghost stories, there is plenty of story here to please a broad readership.