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)
I joined Audible last November and have listened to many books but this one is by far THE BEST!!! The plot is intricate and spellbinding and I wanted it to go on forever. I can't say enough about the narrator Humphrey Bower. Mr Bower provides the accent and voice of each character seamlessly and it's often hard to believe there is only one reader. If there is an award for Audible narrators Mr. Bower should win it hands down. Definitely give this book a try. I'm going to look for another book with this suberb combo of Courtenay and Bower.
I wanted a trilogy and chose this one, after much shopping, because I was curious about the nature of the people sent to Australia and what their lives were like there. Big mistake. The author spends 45 minutes describing a coach ride with 3 stinking, miserable, farting, intoxicated people, another 45 on the beauty of a particular plate used to make counterfeit bills.. and so it goes, on and on. Hours into the first book I turned it off when the writer began the describing "ratting" terriers and how weakened ones are attacked by groups of sewer rats and torn to bits..... I'm D.O.N.E.
great voices, story, background, spun well, cared about the characters, was left wanting the next book in the series. well worth my time and money
Worth the credit and then some. Narration was incredible, made the book real and engrossing. Being historical fiction you never know quite where the story will lead, a plus in my mind. You give up trying to predict the plot and just get into the characters and story. Can't wait for the 2nd book in the trilogy. Highly recommend!
An outstanding book, the story line, the chartacters and timeframe take you back to a time that really captures the imagination. This is my second BC book, I am hooked one of the best books I have read/listened too...and I have listened to a bunch. If you like this book I would suggest Dangerous Fortune by Follett...some similarities! This is truly a keeper!!
Someone suggested this book to me. I must say that i am very glad they did.
The writing is incredible and the naration is the best i've heard. I had a hard time turning it off. I am looking forward to listenining to more of Bryce Courtney's books.
thank you for the memorable listen
I started with "The Power of One", then read "Tandia", and now "The Potato Factory". Bryce Courtenay has become one of my favorite writers, and Humphrey Bower one of my favorite narrators.
This is a WONDERFUL listen. Don't miss it!
I really liked it. That being said, I did have a little bit of a hard time identifying with any of the characters at first and shut it off a few times for a little break. I'm glad I stuck with it and found myself rooting for Ikey and Mary in the end!
This book has everything. Well worth the listen and definately worth the credit or the money. It is classic Australian historical literature.
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