The Boy with Blue Trousers…
About the Book:
In the mulberry groves of the Pearl River Delta, eighteen-year-old Little Cat carries a terrible secret. And so, in disguise as a boy in blue trousers, she makes the long and difficult passage to Australia, a faraway land of untold riches where it is said the rivers run with gold.
Violet Hartley has arrived off the boat from England, fleeing scandal back home. Like the Chinese immigrants seeking their fortunes on the goldfields, Violet is seduced by the promise of a new frontier. Then she meets Little Cat, a woman who, like her, is trying to escape her past.
As their fates inextricably, devastatingly entwine, their story becomes one of freedom, violence, love and vengeance, echoing across the landscapes of two great continents.
Last year I read The Concubine’s Child by Carol Jones and fell in love with her writing. Her latest release, The Boy with Blue Trousers, is equally as captivating. It’s like she’s gently carved out her own new sub-genre: cultural historical fiction.
“‘It takes a hundred rebirths to ride in the same boat, a thousand to share the same pillow.’ So it was said. One day it would be their time. Even if it took ten thousand thousand years, one day they would find each other again.”
There are two entirely different heroines within this novel. It was a bit like taking a road trip with Mulan and Becky Sharp (Vanity Fair) – two characters from stories I highly revere. The balancing of two vastly different characters such as Little Cat and Violet was very well done by the author. Violet herself was not particularly likeable all the time, but she was plucky and resourceful, traits that were required if you were going to carve out a new life in the colonies as a single young woman. Little Cat was beyond brave, I loved following her journey, which had a suspenseful aspect to it that kept me fairly on the edge of my seat. There is a wealth of both Chinese and early Australian gold rush history to be discovered within this novel. I enjoyed this story immensely and highly recommend it.
Thanks is extended to the author for providing me with a copy of The Boy with Blue Trousers for review.
A copy was also provided by HarperCollins Publishers Australia via NetGalley.
About the Author:
Born in Brisbane, Australia, Carol Jones taught English and Drama at secondary schools before working as an editor of children’s magazines. She is the author of several young adult novels as well as children’s non-fiction.
The Boy with Blue Trousers
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Australia – Head of Zeus GB
Released on 17th June 2019