@ Your Library
by Beverly Ewart
The Exiles: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline.
“Seduced by her employer's son, Evangeline, a naïve young governess in early nineteenth-century London, is discharged when her pregnancy is discovered and sent to the notorious Newgate Prison. After months in the fetid, overcrowded jail, she learns she is sentenced to "the land beyond the seas," Van Diemen's Land, a penal colony in Australia. Though uncertain of what awaits, Evangeline knows one thing: the child she carries will be born on the months-long voyage to this distant land. During the journey on a repurposed slave ship, the Medea, Evangeline strikes up a friendship with Hazel, a girl little older than her former pupils who was sentenced to seven years transport for stealing a silver spoon. Canny where Evangeline is guileless, Hazel -- a skilled midwife and herbalist -- is soon offering home remedies to both prisoners and sailors in return for a variety of favors.
Though Australia has been home to Aboriginal people for more than 50,000 years, the British government in the 1840s considers its fledgling colony uninhabited and unsettled, and views the natives as an unpleasant nuisance. By the time the Medea arrives, many of them have been forcibly relocated, their land seized by white colonists. One of these relocated people is Mathinna, the orphaned daughter of the Chief of the Lowreenne tribe, who has been adopted by the new governor of Van Diemen's Land. In this gorgeous novel, Christina Baker Kline brilliantly recreates the beginnings of a new society in a beautiful and challenging land, telling the story of Australia from a fresh perspective, through the experiences of Evangeline, Hazel, and Mathinna. While life in Australia is punishing and often brutally unfair, it is also, for some, an opportunity: for redemption, for a new way of life, for unimagined freedom.” - A description from the publisher.
This book was brutal and sad, yet I could NOT put it down! Beautifully written, it unfolded a time and place I have never much thought about. If you like Disney endings (I admit it - I DO), it’s not for you. But if you want to learn more about peoples displaced by the power and privilege of colonialism, and you’re hungry for a tale well-told, this novel is waiting for you curbside. Come on over and pick it up!
Children’s Fall Programing:
There are no programs in the library building this fall, but we hope you join us for virtual Toddler and Preschool Storytimes starting the third week in September. They’ll be posted to the library’s website and Facebook page!
Contact Ms. Val at email@example.com or 315-386-3712 ext 4 with any questions.
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