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)
This book is well written and obviously well researched. The characters are engaging and interesting, whether you end up like them or not. At times it was a little brutal and graphic and you start to wonder if anything good will ever happen to the characters, but it is well worth sticking with. I love a novel that is both a good story and a learning opportunity and this book is both. Humphrey Bower does one of the best narrations I have ever heard and I have listened to over a hundred Audible books. Highly recommended!
Bryce Courtenay is that rare thing, a master storyteller who is also a wonderful and deep writer. A modern Dickens, without the inflated prose but with the same completely credible yet larger-than-life characters and even better plotting. Humphrey Bower does an absolutely perfect job of reading the book, with ideal voices for every character., One of the best books I have ever read on Audible, in the same class as Pillars of the Earth, American Gods and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Also one of the best historical novels I have ever read, communicating a vivid feeling for a different time and place and the people who populated and made it.
Keep your interest from the opening page to the end. A great insight into the lives of the ruthless and the poor. Good read
The book starts out very slow for at least half the book. It's written and read more like a history book than a novel but that history is important to the story and well worth hearing. By the last 1/3 of the book, it becomes more engaging. I had read the last book of the trilogy first, not knowing there were two previous books. When I discovered this, I had to know what happened before and will now listen to book 2.
The author's writing is creative and captivating and character development so good , I hated for the book to end.
The reader was perfect !
You will be so pleased .
Bryce is a fabulous writer and just draws the listener into the story and characters. He is a great novelist. This book went quickly and then he used a writer's trick at the end to hook the listener into getting the second installment in the trilogy. God, he is good! The narrator is fantastic and found his niche with Courtenay's material, what a dynamic duo. I highly recommend this book, existing fans will notice some familiar themes, but the story stands on its own. Bravo!
I had previously listened to Humphrey Bowers "The Four Fires" and absolutely loved it... so I was somewhat unprepared for the vivid, dark and continuous descriptions of life in this novel. That being said, it is simply an incredible book, well worth listening to!
Former Waitress, Chargeback clerk, Clown, Florist owner, Clergy. Love series, humor, twists, history, mysteries, not into witches/bondage.
I enjoyed this book. I had to wonder, if some of the attitudes of that era are still wilth us today. I felt he was a little rough on the church and on Wesley, Knowing their history, but when you are searching the alleys for ways to survive it might be that the church was lacking. Sometimes you just had to laugh at the names and twists in the plot.
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