In a desperate bid to reduce the books that are collecting dust on my TBR shelves, I have decided to collaborate with another avid reader and fellow book reviewer, Nicole from Certified Book Addicts. The #20BACKLISTIN2020 challenge is a self paced challenge hosted by Jaylamm.Reads, Reading and Sunshine, and Cassidys.Bookshelf. The overall goal of this challenge is to read 20 titles from the backlist books that are currently sitting on your TBR pile. For this challenge I will be reading non review books and taking my selections directly from my chock-a-block TBR bookcases (there are two shelved back to back). I will be publishing my reviews of these books on my blog and social media sites on the first and third Tuesday of the month.
Book #14 in the #20BACKLISTIN2020 challenge
Estimated TBR Shelf Life: 1 year
A stunning historical tale of loss, desire and courage that is full of the terror and the beauty of the Australian bush, for readers of The Thorn Birds, The Naturalist’s Daughter and The Widow of Ballarat.
To forge a new life she must first deal with her past…
1871. Adelaide Greaves and her young son have found sanctuary in the Australian town of Maiden’s Creek, where she works as a postmistress. The rough Victorian goldmining settlement is a hard place for a woman – especially as the other women in town don’t know what to make of her – but through force of will and sheer necessity, Adelaide carves out a role.
But her past is coming to find her, and the embittered and scarred Confederate soldier Caleb Hunt, in town in search of gold and not without a dark past of his own, might be the only one who can help. Can Adelaide trust him? Can she trust anyone?
When death and danger threaten – some from her past, some born of the Australian bush – she must swallow her pride and turn to Caleb to join her in the fight, a fight she is determined to win…
‘Adelaide’s position as a postmistress put her in a unique position.’
Turn back the clock to the 1870s and step into the shoes of Adelaide Greaves, the strong, determined and steadfast heroine of Alison Stuart’s The Postmistress. An enrapturing tale of history, danger, romance, free will and courage, The Postmistress sweeps the reader off their feet from chapter one to the departing line.
Adelaide Greaves and her young son Danny have settled in the mining town of Maiden’s Creek from England. Taking up the position as the local postmistress, this free and independent life is far removed from Adelaide’s previous strict existence under her father’s rule back in England. Despite the hard work and unfavorable work conditions of the gold mining settlement, Adelaide basks in her new life. Times are tough, but Adelaide is determined to make it work, even if the townfolk of Maiden’s Creek are suspicious of her arrival. No matter how hard Adelaide tries to keep the past in the past, she cannot stop it coming back to haunt her. When a face from her previous life in England arrives in Maiden’s Creek, Adelaide calls on the help of another new settler to the town, Caleb Hunt, an American solider. Adelaide isn’t sure if Caleb can protect her, but she places her trust in this newcomer, which will have dangerous outcomes for all involved.
I came to The Postmistress immediately after reading Alison Stuart’s most recent release and follow on novel to this one, The Goldminer’s Sister. I couldn’t get enough of Alison Stuart’s writing and the fictional mining town in which this novel is set. Utterly addictive and unputdownable, I devoured The Postmistress in just two sittings, it was simply fabulous, a gold star read!
Alison Stuart has a real flair for peppering her novel with strong, independent and enterprising female leads. The heroine of The Postmistress was admirable and very appealing. I could easily read more adventures featuring the unmissable Adelaide Greaves. I really admired her spirit, sense of self respect, righteousness and bravery. It takes a lot of courage to forge a new life on the other side of the world, in a largely inhospitable country, but Adelaide’s embraces all life in remote Australia has to offer. Not only does she make a go of it, challenging society’s norms, Adelaide is also very successful in her role.
The secondary cast are an amazing set to follow. From the hero of this tale, to the awful villain, the endearing Danny, local doctor, coachman and various townsfolk, The Postmistress has the ability to draw readers in to the lives of the colourful township of Maiden’s Creek. I enjoyed the various twists, turns, problems, setbacks, challenges and everyday situations faced by the local community. Stuart also delves into some dramatic happenings from mine accidents, to disease outbreaks, fires, transportation issues, resource difficulties and economic challenges. Each was touched on with a strong level of insight and historical accuracy.
I couldn’t wait to peruse the author’s note at the close of the novel, I knew I was in for a wonderful bonus extra to this enthralling tale. Stuart did not disappoint in this area and I was thoroughly impressed by the research base of The Postmistress. I appreciated learning about the first hand experiences Stuart conducted in gold panning, it really was a joy to discover!
With a dramatic build up to an action packed ending and a pleasing line of romance rounding The Postmistress off to a satisfying close, I give this title my highest recommendation. Five full stars for The Postmistress by Alison Stuart.
***** 5 stars
The Postmistress by Alison Stuart was published on 17th June 2019 by Mira – AU. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Postmistress, Alison Stuart, visit here.
The Postmistress is book #83 of the 2020 Australian Women Writers Challenge