The first book in the series centers around the Prentice Family. George, the father, who has fallen on hard times and resorts to pickpocketing to provide for his family. George is arrested and sentenced to seven years of hard labor in the New South Wales, colony. Amelia, his wife, is trying to provide for their daughter Katie and a child on the way, is accused of stealing from a wealthy landowner and sentenced to New South Wales as well. Katie, their daughter somehow manages to find work with the commander of the Australian bound fleet. Their struggles are portrayed as they not only find each other but a deep and abiding faith that see's them through the difficult times as the fleet draws near the Australian colony.
My Thoughts: This book was written in 1995 and I found the subject very interesting. I knew that Australia had been founded with the Botany Bay expedition but, I was really unfamiliar with the circumstances. I liked the book a lot, though I found the idea of all three members of the family somehow ending up in Australia perhaps a little too coincidental. The characters were very believable and made you become invested in what happened to them. Amelia, as a mother in desperate circumstances was very compelling. I liked how the subject of faith was not forced on the reader, but allowed to meld with the story and become a part of it.
This book deserves 3 out 5 apples from my book bag!