Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Scapegallows by Carol Birch

ScapegallowsScapegallows by Carol Birch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this fact based fictional account of the life of a woman called Margaret Catchpole who works as a maid and has a boyfriend who is a smuggler, events conspire to eventually get her transported to Australia after narrowly escaping being hanged for her foolhardiness rather than criminality. She's quite a feckless heroine and quite a flawed character with a temper and poor decision making skills but this makes her all the more real.

The book begins in Australia where she has obviously been living for some time and the main story is her reminiscences of her youth back in England and how she came to fall off the straight and narrow to be transported.

Although I'd have greatly liked to have read much more about how she settled once in Australia rather than the sketchy account of that yet an in depth background, I found it very readable and enjoyable and it reminded me somewhat of Slammerkin and Remember Me and having recently read Jamrach's Menagerie: A Novel I think this would appeal to anyone who enjoyed any of these novels.

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