BOOK CLUB: In A Great Southern Land

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Author: Mary-Anne O’Connor
ISBN: 9781489261496
RRP: $32.99
Publication Date: 18 March 2019
Publisher: HQ Fiction
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Mary-Anne O’Connor writes engaging historical fiction, I have read a couple of her earlier titles and loved them. I am really looking forward to one day getting to this one, though my copy hasn’t arrived.

In A Great Southern Land takes us further into the past as we head to the colonies in the 1850s. Convicts, the Gold Rush and the Eureka Stockade; this book is sure to have tension, excitement and some well-researched history that we may not have heard before.

Publisher Website Overview:

From the soft green hills of Ireland to the wild Shipwreck Coast of southern Victoria, the rich farm lands of New South Wales to the sudden battlefields of Ballarat, this is an epic story of the cost of freedom and the value of love in a far-flung corner of the world where a new nation struggles to be born.

1851: After the death of her father, young Eve Richards is destitute. Her struggle to survive sees her deported in chains to the colony of New South Wales, penniless and alone. But here in this strange new world fortune smiles on the spirited, clever Eve in the shape of a respectable job offer that will lead to a quiet, secure life. Then the fiery and charismatic Irishman Kieran Clancy crosses her path…

For Kieran Clancy, the kindest man on earth, and his brother Liam, the promise of free passage and land in this brave new world is a chance to leave the grief and starvation of County Clare behind. But while Liam works to farm their land, Kieran has the fire of gold-fever upon him and is drawn to the goldfields of Ballarat. As tensions grow on the goldfields, and with the blood of an Irish rebel still beating through his heart, Kieran finds himself caught up in the cataclysmic 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…

You can find Mary-Anne at her Website as well as on Facebook.

In A Great Southern Land is published by HQ Fiction and is available now where all good books are sold.

Thanks to HQ Fiction 15 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading In A Great Southern Land so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear what our readers thought.

13 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: In A Great Southern Land

  1. In a Great Southern Land. By Mary-Anne O’Connor

    This book begins in Ireland in 1851 when Eve Richards, after her fathers death, finds life as a servant girl a struggle. She makes choices which find her being deported to Sydney, Australia.
    Farming Irish family the Clancy’s, are offered free passage and the chance to buy their own land in far off Australia. They are desperate to leave the hard life, grief and starvation that is their daily lot, so they set sail for the Great Southern Land and a new life..
    Kieran Clancy and Eve Richards meet as she leaves the convict ship in Sydney, and they make an impression on each other, but their paths lead in different directions. Eve must serve her sentence, and Kieran and his siblings are looking for suitable farming land.
    The discovery of gold lures Kieran away to Ballarat in Victoria, where he reconnects with Eve. The tough and unfair conditions on the goldfields see the miners rebelling. Kieran is in the midst of the events at the Eureka Stockade, and the decision he must make affects all those he loves.

    This is a rich tale and the accurate history of the time makes it a satisfying read.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace Book Club and to Harlequin Books for the chance to read this.

  2. Thankyou for the opportunity to read The Great Southern Land by Mary Ann O’Connor.
    I thoughly enjoyed this book. Beginning in early Ireland Eve Richards has lived an comparitaly easy life being the daughter of a butler in a large home. Making sad choices after her father dies Eve find herself homeless and eventually being transported to Australia. There she is rescued by the Irish larrikin Kieran Clancy who has escaped the hardships of Ireland with his brother and his sister and her family determined to find a better life . Eve goes into service with a sea captain and his wife and is reunited with the wandering Kerian and against her better judgement becomes very attracted to him.
    Kieran still looking to make his fortune ends up in Ballarat and because of his loyal, kind nature is involved in the Eureka Stockade., but Kieran’s loyalities are devided and tested as many lives are threatened .
    Would definitely recommend this book, as with all Mary Ann O’Connors books that I have read A Great Southern Land is a fine historical novel.

  3. Thank you to the Beauty and Lace club for sending me this wonderful book to review.

    If you enjoy historical fiction you will love this book. It is set in early Australian history around the time of the Eureka Stockade.

    The main characters are Eve who is transported to Australia as a convict and the Clancy family who are Irish free settlers wanting to make a new life for themselves in Australia.

    Eve and Keiran Clancy cross paths and the rest is history.

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed this epic saga of family, hardships, love and quest for justice. A rich and heartfelt story that you can easily immerse yourself in with fantastic characters and historical information deftly interwoven to give you a great insight into the early period of Australian history. I was able to emotionally connect with In A Great Southern Land, which is what I look for in a great historical fiction novel.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Australia for providing a copy for review.

  5. April 2019 selection
    Beauty and Lace Book Club 27 April, 2019
    Book Review: In a Great Southern Land, By Mary-Anne O’Connor

    An historical novel starting in the emerald hills of Ireland, an elite household in England and how two people of different backgrounds find themselves in the Great Southern Land searching for a new life. Eve begins life in an Australian household as their servant and Kieran is pulled along with the gold rush of Ballart. They begin on separate paths but fate has a hand to ensure their lives are entwined under the Southern Stars.
    This story shows how one simple mistake can affect the future in so many ways but love and family is the center of any new beginning.

    Thank you Beauty & Lace and HQ Fiction, for the opportunity to read and review Mary-Anne O’Connor’s “In a Great Southern Land”

  6. In A Great Southern Land book is a good read about people from Ireland who have settled in Australia, when the gold rush was on. Eureka Stockade.was a bad time where people got killed it was a very hard time.

  7. Thank you for the opportunity to review In a Great Southern Land by Mary Anne O’Connor
    This historical novel starts in Ireland in 1851, the time of the Potato Famine and very difficult times for farmers.
    The Clancy family applies for land in Australia. They are granted land and a free passage to Australia, making them among the early free settlers.
    Around the same time Eve Richard’s life undertakes a sudden change when her father dies, she becomes destitute and is sent to Australia as a convict..
    Keiran Clancy and Eve meet, and are instantly attracted to each other, but they lose contact..
    The novel tells their stories and how they eventually meet up. This part of the story seemed too concocted to me, which slightly spoiled an excellent story.
    Keiran goes to Ballarat and in drawn into the Eureka Stockade. The authors description of life on the gold fields and the hardships of the miners is told in an authoritive and empathetic way.
    I could not put this book down. It is an historical novel, a story of the hardships of early life in Australia and the impact of the imported class system and a romantic love story. A book I am sure everyone will enjoy and possibly learn some more of Australian history

  8. In a Great Southern Land by Mary-Anne O’Connor’s is a novel based on the early history of Australia.

    Eve Richards finds herself in dire straits following the death of her father, and eventually ends up being transported to New South Wales as a convict.

    Kieran Clancy and his brother Liam come to Australia from Ireland on an assisted scheme with the promise of land. Liam stays on the land but Kieran has gold fever.

    The story evolves around these characters while covering some important events in Australia’s history.

    It is a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining book, I could not put it down until I finished.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Harlequin books for the opportunity to read and review.

  9. I knew that I would love reading “In a Great Southern Land” from the first page. Author Mary-Anne O’Connor has cleverly drawn on her family heritage and lived experiences of past family members moving to Australia, “the land of opportunity”, from an oppressed and wretched life experienced by the lower classes in Ireland in the 1850’s. The story follows the highs and lows of life for the central family in this book, the Clancy siblings Kieran, Liam and Eileen and Eileen’s husband and children, a poor Irish farming family.
    The Clancy’s left Ireland with free passage to Australia and a parcel of land on their arrival, propelled by dreams of their freedom and a new start in the great southern land. Shortly afterwards a young Eve Richards also found herself arriving in Sydney on a prison ship having been deported in chains to the NSW colony. O’Connor cleverly portrayed the excitement and hope of new beginnings experienced by the emigrating Clancy family and also the fear and dread of Eve as they faced their new lives in Australia.
    Both however soon realised that British oppression had moved with the colonisation of Australia .
    The decision that Kieran needed to stay in Sydney on their arrival to recuperate from a physical assault and a broken heart, whilst his siblings moved on to claim their land and start their farm started a chain reaction of events and circumstances which changed the lives of all of them as well as Eve.
    Instead of joining his family as soon as he was well enough, the gold rush tempted Kieran to try his luck and he was propelled into the unfolding of the Eureka Stockade and the fight for human rights and dignity, equality and humanity. Irish rebelliousness ran deep in Kieran having experienced the hardships of being on the wrong side of the class divide, but this was not enough to taint his gentle and kind nature, although the struggle between the two was very real throughout the story.
    This book took me on a journey through some of the worst aspects of humanity and the early history of the colonisation of Australia. However, it was also able to magically interweave this with the best of humanity, and a reminder that hope, kindness, love and family can overcome everything.
    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Australia, this was a fabulous read and I can’t wait to read more from Mary-Anne O’Connor.

  10. An enthralling historical fiction of a quality that is next to none
    from the green hills of Ireland to a new and rugged land.

    Mary-Anne O’Connor takes you on a powerful and moving journey
    of love, family and freedom which is inspired by her own family history.

    The story begins in 1851 when an Irishman named Kieran Clancy and his brother Liam are given a grant of land in Australia. So along with their sister Eileen and husband Rory and three sons they set out to discover the challenges and opportunities of a new start.

    Around the same time Eve Richards living a life that is relatively comfortable
    until now finds herself accused of a crime she did not commit and is transported to Australia travelling there in the most horrendous circumstances.

    Their paths cross more than once as they both endure many awful experiences.

    An emotional and heart-wrenching story with characters that will become a part of you.

    It includes a range of places and events highlighting many significant occurrences from history which involve the Eureka stockade, the gold rush and more.

    A tale of injustices and the fight for equality and rights while holding on to their love and family ties.

    You will not want to put this novel down.

  11. In a Great Southern Land by Mary-Anne O’Connor was a novel that I just couldnt put down.
    A historical fiction read, we start our story in 1851 when 2 brothers are granted land in Australia and along with family memebers make the enormous move from Ireland to Australia in search of what they hope is a new start in life.
    We also have young Eve Richards , a girl accused of a crime and set aboard a ship bound for the prison colony of Australia.
    Both excitement and dread within the mixture of the two families upon departing for Australia.
    Their paths will cross and not always for the best of reasons.
    This novel explores historical eras of Australia , interweaving them among the wonderful story lines.
    I would thoroughly recommend this novel.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Australia for allowing me to read and review this wonderful novel.

  12. Thank you to Harelquin Books and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read In a Great Southern Land . Mary-Anne O”Connor is a wonderful author and I congratulate her on such a very emotionally provoking story of peoples lives in the 1850’s. Her writing is so eloquent you can almost feel the characters emotions. I really enjoyed reading the descriptive narrative on the beauty and harshness of the Irish and Australian landscape and the towns that the characters lived in. It’s a story of the Clancy family that was granted land and a new freedom to come to Australia from Ireland. It describes the challanges that the migrants had to face coming to such a far away and wild country. One of the family members, Kieran Clancy was drawn to the Eureka mining fever. A broken soul but a man of kindness and dignity who had strong family values and yet felt segregated due to tremendous hardship. It is also a story of a convict servant Eve Richards who also had a hard life but yet due to good family up bringing survived all odds. She crossed paths with Kieran and the story unfolds with twists and turns that make it very hard to put the book down. This is a beautiful story not only about peoples lives but it relieves parts of Australian history and mateship.. Also most importantly a history of multiculturalism that still exists today where everyone calls Australia Home.

  13. In a Great Southern Land by Mary-Anne O’Connor is a story full of passions. The passion between a man and a woman, the passion between family members and a passion for equality
    This tale starts in Ireland in 1851 and travels to Australia as the country is settled and grows.It centres around the Clancys and their struggles in starting a new life in a new land
    Intertwined in this story, is the story of Eve a well educated girl who pays the price for events she got caught up in
    This is a love story, but it is so.much more. It also tells of the Eureka Stockade
    This is an evocative novel that transports you back in time.i really enjoyed learning a little more of Australia’s past. I had previously read Mary-Anne O’Connor’s book: War Flower and found In a Great Southern Land just as enjoyable.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and HQ Fiction for the opportunity to read and review this book

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