Ikey Solomon's favorite saying is also his way of doing business, and in the business of thieving he's very successful indeed. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from thriving nineteenth century London to the convict settlement of Van Diemen's Land.
In the backstreets and dives of Hobart Town, Mary learns the art of brewing and builds The Potato Factory, where she plans a new future. But her ambitions are threatened by Ikey's wife, Hannah, her old enemy. The two women raise their separate families, one legitimate and the other bastard. As each woman sets out to destroy the other, the families are brought to the edge of disaster.
©1995 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2000 Bolinda Publishing Pyt Ltd by arrangement with Penguin Group (Australia)
"In the tradition of Charles Dickens, Courtenay creates a unique cast of characters from the outset of this epic novel....Humphrey Bower's performance is a marvel...making this one of those rare books with a sweep of characters the readers come to care about deeply." (AudioFile)
The audio equivalent of a "page turner" the story moves fast covering a lot of historical, cultural, and geographical content. I especially enjoyed the cameo appearance of Charles Dickens. Very entertaining.
Compelling setting and characters, and superlative narration make this story come alive. It was hard to put down and now that I'm done with the first volume, can't wait to start the next.
I have never read a book by this author before, so I can tell you that this book was a complete surprise. This book is a real enigma in that it looks and starts out somewhat
low key. I expected a typical history lesson novel, but this was the most exciting involved book I have read in a long time.
There were a fair number of characters but this author managed to keep everything under control and one did not need to keep a list to remember them.
The main characters were excellent and they were all accounted for in the end and the outcome was a smash hit. Pick this book up, it's a must read and it will have you looking
out and hanging on until the end to find out what happens.
The reader did an absolutely fine job and definitely contributed to my enjoyment. I loved this book and I and would recommend it to everyone.
Selfish people survive.
It was a long, long time getting to the Potato Factory. Ikie's character developed along the way, but it took too much description to get there.
Humphrey Bower is a great reader. The story takes awhile but worth it. Really worth it. I "felt" what London was like. Then I felt the reality of what it meant to be a Criminal worthy of transportation. Can't wait for book 2.
The learned the humanity of people I initially thought of as horrible and worthless.
Mary's victory in getting the 'treasure'.
Bloody Mary - she's got chutzpah!
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