Showing posts with label Johanna Craven. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Johanna Craven. Show all posts

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.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Johanna Craven

This writer is enjoying a few days holidays. With some excellent beach weather, it means that I'm reading a lot. What after all is better than getting a golden tan while enjoying a good book. This one went particularly well with waves lapping away gently in the back ground. A great story with good character development. 5 stars.




I enjoyed this book immensely; it had everything a good seafaring yarn should have. A captain haunted by the past and teetering on the brink of insanity. A plucky heroine in the shape of French stowaway Catherine. Hiding below decks was  another female, a crew member, pretending to be a boy. Our anti-hero Harry; who went seeking adventure but got rather more than he bargained for. Add to this a rebellious crew and you have a powder keg of a pirate ship and all the elements of a gripping story. Captain Archer is a great character and we get inside of his whisky fuelled mind. He is temperamental and unpredictable and he took his ship and us the reader in some unexpected directions. The story is set against the back drop of a period where privateers no longer had the backing of king and count and some, like our captain, turned to piracy. Also the events that took place in Port Royal, Jamaica, in 1692. I Love reading historical novels and doing some further reading on Wikipedia to get more factual information. I couldn’t fault the writer on her research and the way she brought this particular time in history to life. But even if history leaves you cold, this is a riveting adventure story first and foremost.