Girl of Shadows: Convict Girls #2 – Deborah Challinor

Posted: November 8, 2013 in general fiction, history, Review

girl of ahadowsFinally the follow up to Behind the Sun!

After Rachel’s death in childbirth the three remaining convict girls; Friday, Sarah, and Harriet, save all the money they can to look after her daughter Charlotte, who’s still in the Factory.  They have been assigned jobs that are unpaid and have to earn on the side.

Sarah has been assigned to the jeweller Adam Green and his harpy of a wife Esther.  She has been pocketing small pieces to pawn but starts to feel guilty about betraying Adam.  Angry about being prevented from attending Rachel’s funeral, Sarah convinces Esther her angry spirit has returned to haunt the house. Then Adam leaves on business and Esther seizes the chance to return Sarah to the Factory.

Friday is officially a chambermaid in a hotel, the Siren Arms, but in reality is working in a brothel there.  Mrs H, the madam, treats her well and tries to encourage Friday to be more ladylike and tone down her flamboyance.  She tries but, well, Friday is Friday.  Deep down she hates being a whore but feels she must as the money is good and she can save a lot for Charlotte’s care.

Harriet has been assigned as a maid for the Barrett’s and looks after the children as well as sewing in their dressmaking business.  Mr Barrett also arranges for her to work with a tattoo artist, Leo, a crusty old sailor.  She still won’t speak to Dr James Downey after he performed an autopsy on Rachel and is being pursued by Matthew Cutler, who was on the ship with them.

All the while they’re keeping a dark secret and being blackmailed by Bella Jackson to keep her quiet.

The story is full of action, with secrets being exposed and lots of intrigue.  There are lighter moment – I enjoyed Sarah’s haunting plot – and the characters are strong and likable, both those we know and the new ones we me.  Except for Bella and Amos of course, and the fellows Sarah encounters.  I’m hoping the next book has Bella’s downfall, she’s such a cow.  I loved this book and recommend it for any historical fan.  It’s not necessary to have read the first book Behind the Sun but you should as it’s so good!

HarperCollins New Zealand has kindly supplied a copy of this book for a giveaway.  To be in the draw leave a comment below and winners will be drawn on Thursday 14th November.  Open to those in New Zealand and Australia only.

HarperCollins Publishers

Supplied by HarperCollins New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

Review of Behind the Sun here

  1. jean pearson says:

    this book was anticipated with excitement but failed to deliver..story line became childishly unbelievable..jean


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