Daily Review: On Different Shores by Rebeca Bryn
June 30, 2017
Determined for her child to know its father, she embarks on a dangerous endeavour to follow her lover across the globe.
A young poacher is found guilty of killing Lord Northampton’s gamekeeper and is transported to Van Diemen’s Land for life, leaving behind the common-law wife he loves. Pregnant and penniless, she faces the appalling lack of rights for women in Victorian England and is forced to make hard choices.
While he suffers the deprivations of a brutal life in chains, she is determined her child will know its father; she embarks on a dangerous endeavour to follow her lover across the globe. Will the cost of her actions prove too high, for her and for all those she loves? (Inspired by family history and real events.)
The three-book series spans twenty years in the lives of Jem and Ella and takes them around the globe, crossing perilous oceans in sailing ships and suffering the hardships many convict and free emigrants suffered to found a British colony on slave labour.
By Rita Lee Chapman
On Different Shores was inspired by the author’s great, great, great uncle and his two cousins and is set in England in the 1840’s. Ella is sent by her mother’s employer, who has supported her through childhood, to a friend in another village where it is hoped she will make a suitable marriage.
Ella is promised to the son of a local land owner but falls in love with a local lad, Jem, who is involved in a murder and sentenced to deportation to Australia. Pregnant to Jem, Ella marries Harry.
This story, beautifully crafted by Rebecca Bryn, emphasises the total lack of control which women had over their lives in these times. Ella owns nothing, not even her child and can be beaten or locked up by her husband as he pleases.
Ella’s determination and courage in her efforts to pursue her love are inspiring and so real you feel as if you are there with her, willing her on. This book will leave you impatient for the next one in the series to be published.
By Readers Favorite
On Different Shores (For Their Country’s Good Book 1) by Rebecca Bryn opens in a country rectory in Victorian England, where Ella has been sent after being caught sharing a kiss with her employer’s son. Whilst Reverend Buchanan seeks a suitable husband for his dowerless protégé, Ella falls in love with Jem, a poor poacher.
Pregnant with Jem’s child, she flees her loveless marriage to farmer’s son, Harry, and becomes Jem’s common-law wife. Jem is found guilty of the manslaughter of a gamekeeper. Lucky to escape hanging, he is transported to Van Diemen’s Land for life. Ella refuses to forget him, determined that their child shall know its father. Can Ella raise the money to follow her lover? Will Jem survive the perilous sea journey, manacled in chains?
On Different Shores is a powerful, character-driven, story of a young couple and their ill-fated love. Rebecca Bryn has gone a step further than any “Romeo and Juliet” tale by setting it in Victorian times. Women had no rights whatever, but Ella defies convention, earning money any way she can, and giving birth to Jem’s son, resolute in her intention to escape Harry.
Will she be defeated by Harry’s single-minded passion to father a son of his own? If she escapes, can she endure crossing the globe with a toddler? Ella will move readers to tears, and to fury; she lives. All Ms. Bryn’s characters, the good, the bad, and the ugly, live. On Different Shores is a brilliant historical novel that takes the reader wherever Ella and Jem lead.
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