Australian Author · Historical Fiction · Read-Reviewed-2019 · Romance

In A Great Southern Land by Mary-Anne O’Connor. (2019).

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In A Great Southern Land by Mary-Anne O’Connor. (2019).

**3.5 out of 5 stars**

1851: after the death of her father, Eve is destitute. Unfortunate circumstances see her deported to the colony of NSW. But here fortune smiles on her in the shape of a respectable job offer. At the same time the fiery and charismatic Irishman Kieran crosses her path…
For Kieran, the promise of free passage and land in Australia was a chance to leave the grief and starvation of Ireland. Kieran is drawn to the goldfields where tensions are growing. Kieran finds himself caught up in the events at the Eureka Stockade and faces the decision of a lifetime: whether or not, when it comes to love, blood will remain thicker than water…

After reading some intense books/thrillers, this was a lovely easy read. The book alternates primarily between Eve and Kieran’s point of views; at the beginning I think there was perhaps a bit too much time spent on one character before flipping to the other but from the middle this evens out a bit (other readers may not mind this at all, it was just something I noted). I particularly liked the sections of the book in relation to Kieran and his family as well as Kieran’s experiences on the goldfields. Eve was likeable with unfortunate life circumstances and I both felt sorry for her but also got annoyed with her constant attitude that she had “sinned” and was a “sinner” and so deserved it when bad things happened to her. I understood that was appropriate for the time period and a woman of her class, I just found it slightly irritating as I felt it was mentioned a lot.
Overall I’d call this book a pleasant novel to read when you are looking for something without a lot of suspense and drama but still engaging.

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