“The Exiles” by Christina Baker Kline is a gripping historical novel with interesting and well-drawn characters. It follows the lives of three women in the 1840s — two British women who have been condemned to Australia, and one aboriginal Australian girl adopted by white parents.
The novel takes its reader from the dirty cells of Newgate Prison to the transport ship to the island of Tasmania, then known as Van Diemen’s Land. This story is told with such stunning detail, it gives the feeling of being there with all the colorful characters.
I personally love stories with in-depth characters, and this novel didn’t disappoint. The three main heroines, Evangeline, Hazel and Mathinna, have engaging backgrounds and storylines that intersect with each other. A twist in the middle of the story took me completely by surprise, but it made it all that much more interesting.
I listened to the audiobook version available on Overdrive. Narrator Caroline Lee did an excellent job with the many varied accents. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, especially historical fiction fans. “The Exiles’’ by Christina Baker Kline is available in book format through the Lincoln County Library System. It is also available in ebook and eaudio format through OverDrive and cloudLibrary at linclib.org.