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Publisher's Summary

Van Diemen's Land, Australia, 1833

English settler Grace Ashwell flees an abusive lover in Hobart Town, with six-year-old Violet in tow. In her head, escape is easy: find work in the northern settlements and earn enough for passage home to London. But the terrain beyond the settled districts is wilder than Grace could ever have imagined. She and Violet find themselves lost in a beautiful but deadly land where rain thunders down mountains, the earth drops away without warning and night brings impenetrable darkness.

Deep in the wilderness, they find a crude hut inhabited by Alexander Dalton, an escaped convict long presumed dead. Hiding from civilization in an attempt to forget his horrifying past, Alexander struggles to let Grace into his world.

When Violet disappears, Grace's fragile trust in Alexander is put to the test. And while she searches for answers, he will do anything to keep his secrets inside.

Based around the true story of the Macquarie Harbor bolters; one of the most horrifying events from Colonial Australia's bloody history.

©2017 Johanna Craven (P)2017 Johanna Craven

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing story

The story grabbed my attention and never let go. I really felt like I was part of the story and felt the same emotions the characters were experiencing.

I’ve never heard of the events Forgotten Placed was based on so the educational information included at the end was much appreciated.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy to review. I’ll definitely be looking for more of Johanna Craven’s work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Forgotten Places

Wow,
What a well put together story.
Keeps you wondering.
I would recommend it for sure.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Forgotten Places

Narrated nicely by Rebecca McKernan,this is a story of possible redemption.A convict commits murder and worse in Van Deimans land and has been hiding alone in the woods for a decade.A woman bothers his quietude and leads him on a new quest.Twists takes us on a ever changing journey for peace,if not happiness.“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great historical fiction!

At the end of the story, the author gives the historical facts that this book is based around. Johanna Craven creates a whole cast of fictional character and builds a story around an actual event in history. Amazing! The story takes place in the early 1800s in Australia. The main character, Grace Ashwell, moves to Australia with her lover and his two children to start a new life together. Soon after arriving, her lover has her committed to an insane asylum. Grace escapes and kidnaps one of his daughters, Violet, to rescue her from his abuse. She wanted to rescue both but wasn't able to. She would try to return later for Nora. They flee to one of the other colonies only to get lost in the bush. Instead of finding another colony, she finds an escaped convict who has been hiding in the woods for years. Alexander Dalton had been presumed dead. Once Violet goes missing in the night, Grace blames him for her disappearance. The truth is much darker and sadder.

Great job by narrator Rebecca McKerran. She does an excellent job telling the story and bringing the characters to life. I love all the accents as well!

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  • Pam C
  • Wolfforth, TX
  • 01-14-18

Very good!

Johanna Craven took me to a place I had never been before, and I have read a lot of books. The story of Grace, the twins Violet and Nora, Harrison and Alexander is so well written, so intriguing, that I could hardly put the book down. I say book, but I listened to the audio book and Rebecca Mckernan did a FANTASTIC job of narrating the story. I believed I was right there. Her attention to detail with the story made my heart race at times and completely break at others. I enjoyed this and will look for others by both talents.

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Excellent book

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Forgotten Places. It grabbed my attention and kept it. I would recommend everyone to read or listen to this book.

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Splendid Book

The imagery is beyond exceptional and the story is just full of wonderful turns and smart writing. I deeply appreciate the ability the author has to make the reader connect with the characters, even those you don't expect to understand at first.

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  • jab
  • Atlanta, GA
  • 12-23-17

Excellent

Had me from page one. Couldn't put it down once I started it. The performance was exceptional. Great story.

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  • Christian
  • 01-09-18

A great study on human nature...

What a great study on human nature. How will you act and who can you trust - or have to trust - when you are out in the wild either on your own or with somebody? And can you blame people for decisions they take under those circumstances.

During the first chapters, I found the voice of the narrator a bit monotonous. It is, however, perfectly suitable for this kind of story.

Initially I thought ,forgotten places' was a S
story about spirits/ghosts. It is - however - more real than one can be comfortable with and - in part - even based on historical fact.

A very entertaining book that left me unsure about how I would act under the circumstances described. Highly recommended.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • J Smith
  • 01-18-18

Enjoyed!

**MILD SPOILER ALERT**
Well, I must say, I really enjoyed listening to this book! I came in blind, not knowing what to expect and found I got pulled in to the story!
I have to admit, I saw the twist coming from quite early on, but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story and was only mildly disappointed to find the story was completely fictional as it was definitely believable; a very nice spin-off from an actual event!
I really enjoyed the narrator! Ok, so some of her voices aren’t brilliant (especially the male characters) but she more than makes up for it with her portrayal of Grace: she completely draws you in!
It’s probably more 4 stars in reality, but I can only justify 4 or 5 if I think I’d listen to it again and is it’s not my preferred genre, it’s unlikely.

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  • Raven
  • 01-14-18

Mystery and Thriller

I listened to the audiobook version of this novel. The story revolves around Grace, an English woman who moves to the new colonies in Australia with her lover and his two young daughters. However, things don't go to plan and Grace finds herself incarcerated in an insane asylum. She escapes, and retrieves one of the man's daughters, thinking she is saving the child from abuse. Grace is devasted that she couldn't rescue both girls and sets out for the next nearest settlement. Unfortunately, she gets lost in the forest and ends up meeting a convict that has been hiding out there for years. Starving and cold, she has no choice but to seek shelter with him. But then the child, Violet, goes missing. Did the man do something to her?

This story is about love, trust, loss and hope. The author does a good job of keeping up the mystery element of the story and the characters are well rounded. I didn't warm to the character of Grace very much until the end. The other main character, Alexander Dalton, was interesting as the reader/listener is never sure if he is a good or bad man.
The only small issue with this novel for me was that sometimes the POV would change without warning, which brought me out of the story. Otherwise, I really enjoyed listening.

The narrator did a good job of bringing the story and characters to life.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-13-18

great historical fiction

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

An enjoyable historical fiction book about a very dark moment of life in Australia’s history, the descriptions of the harsh life and day to day life of some of the people who lived there. This is quite a powerful story with great descriptions of the wild landscapes. very well researched.

The book cover is great, it gives away nothing but adds to the mystery and the danger of the book. The one problem I had was with the narration, I didn’t enjoy the narration very much, but that is something so very personal don’t let it put you off the book because of it.

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  • Jack Rodriguez
  • 01-11-18

Great read!

I loved this book! It was my first audio book, and well worth the punt into this new medium.

Craven vividly captures the beautiful landscape - and the harsh realities - of the Tasmanian bush, while drawing the reader into a thrilling and macabre story of a 18th century convict escapee on the run from the authorities and his gruesome past. It is quite a disturbing - yet fascinating listen, and not for the light hearted! It's even more disturbing when you find out it is based on a true story!

Enjoyed the narration which brought the characters to life. It felt like they were in my house!