Book Bingo 2019 is a collaboration challenge I am completing with my favourite bloggers, Theresa Smith Writes and The Book Muse. Each Saturday, on a fortnightly basis, beginning on Saturday 5th January 2019, Ashleigh, Theresa and I will complete a book review post, outlining our respective bingo card entries. The Book Bingo 2019 card contains a total of 30 squares, which we will complete over the course of the year, with the aim to complete the whole card by the end of December. Two of the Book Bingo entries this year will be flexible, so that means it is completely down us as to when we post these entries, to ensure all 30 are ticked off by the end of the year. Do keep an eye out on our respective blog sites for our bonus round entries! To keep things interesting for ourselves and those following along with us, the choice of bingo square to be covered will be entirely down to us, there is no crossover – that is planned anyway! However, as Ashleigh, Theresa and I enjoy similar books, especially books by Australian women writers, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we end up with more than one book double up, as was the case in 2018! We invite you to join us in this fun book related challenge, by linking your bingo card entries in the comments section of this post, tagging us on social media, or by visiting The Book Muse and Theresa Smith Writes.
On the sun-drenched goldfields of Eureka, a wild colonial girl and an honour-bound soldier will break all the rules to claim a love worth more than gold …
Ballarat, Australia 1854
Gold miner Indy Wallace wants nothing more than to dig up enough gold to give her mother an easier life. Wild and reckless, and in trouble more often than not, Indy finds herself falling for handsome, chivalrous, British Army Lieutenant Will Marsh. But in the eyes of immigrant miners, soldiers are the enemy.
Will has been posted to Ballarat with a large contingent of Her Majesty’s Army to protect the Crown gold and keep the peace. But once he meets rebellious Indy, he doubts he’ll ever be at peace again. As Will and Indy’s attraction grows, their loyalties are tested when the unrest between miners and the military reaches breaking point.
On opposite sides of the escalating conflict, can their love survive their battle of ideals? And will any of them survive the battle of the Eureka Stockade?
South Australian writer Cheryl Adnams has published four Australian rural romance novels and a novella, but her new novel represents her first foray into the world of Australian historical fiction. The Girl From Eureka is a book told with insight, passion and flair. Most of all, it makes a chapter in Australia’s history highly readable and accessible.
The Girl From Eureka begins in Ballarat in the year 1854. We meet Indy Wallace, who is quite the trailblazer for her time. Indy is a gold miner, working tirelessly in the fields in an attempt to improve the life of her dear mother. Indy is also quite the wild child and she crosses enemy lines when she falls in love with Will Marsh, a British Army Lieutenant. Complications arise for this unconventional couple when they become embroiled in the unrest that raises between the miner’s camp and the military sent in to achieve peace in Ballarat. Indy and Will find their love and ideals are tested to their very limits. Love and survival go hand in hand in The Girl From Eureka.
Cheryl Adnams first had the germination for her new novel, The Girl From Eureka, when she read the Stella Prize winning book The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright, which is also now on my reading pile. Adnams discovered that there were women that lived and worked on the goldfields. This fact astounded me, especially the working aspect. Adnams explains that this was a time when women were oppressed and there were little opportunities offered by way of asserting their rights or independence. These were strong willed and determined women, just like Indy Wallace, the central protagonist of The Girl From Eureka. Indy’s story is riveting from start to finish.
The school history lessons I received barely touched on the Eureka Stockade. Yet now, some 30 years later, I find myself incredibly drawn to Australia’s past. When a feminist history is resurrected from the history books and absorbed within an accessible fictional narrative, it never fails to draw appeal. Cheryl Adnams has definitely displayed a true aptitude for composing historical fiction, crossed with romance storytelling. The Girl From Eureka is a fantastic piece of writing. I do hope this is just the start of many more historical fiction based novels to come from Cheryl Adnams.
The history behind The Girl From Eureka is absolutely fascinating. I was so absorbed. Once I finished this book I immediately sought out a copy of The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright, which was inspired by this tale. History came alive thanks to Cheryl Adnams and her latest work of fiction. It is often quite difficult to get the balance between history, facts and key figures right within a historical fiction narrative. However, Adnams nails it. I think this is due to the level of research she has put into her book, all the hard yards have paid off. Adnams is also mindful of her audience and the need to present an accessible history within an engaging narrative. I learnt plenty of new information on this turning point in Australia’s history and I am thankful to Adnams for increasing my working history levels.
The Girl From Eureka has a nice lashing of romance, which is spread through the whole novel. I found this to be a good background to the history, offsetting some of the harsher aspects of this point in time. I really enjoyed the representation of the characters of both Indy and Will, they came across very well on the pages of this novel. There is plenty of tension, frustration, heat and opposition coming from these two, but ultimately, true love seizes the day!
Indy is a fantastic character and I enjoyed sinking my teeth into her escapades! She has a genuine sense of love and care for her loved ones which was admirable. She is also extremely feisty, adventurous and independent. It is a pleasure to see a woman from this period in our nation’s history attempt to break down the confines of her gender. This is a positive women’s history and I think Adnams does a very good job of highlighting this feminist history to her readership.
There are a fantastic array of characters that colour the pages of The Girl From Eureka, particularly a real bad guy who adds plenty of danger and risk to the story! The actual account of the events before, during and after the Stockade covered in the book bring new light to a challenging moment in Australia’s early history. It had me on edge, even though I knew what happened. However, it all comes to light so vividly thanks to Cheryl Adnams, her prose is accurate, measured and captivating! An after reading delight is also included in the back of the book which I greatly appreciated. The ‘Author’s Notes’ section provides further historical background to the main events and people featured in The Girl From Eureka.
I loved this one. Add The Girl From Eureka to your reading list if you cannot resist Australian historical fiction, or good quality romance fiction.
**** 4 stars
The Girl From Eureka by Cheryl Adnams was published on February 12th 2019 by Escape Publishing. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Girl From Eureka, Cheryl Adnams, visit here.
The Girl From Eureka is book #32 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge