8 May 2013

ACRBA Review: Ellenvale Gold by Amanda Deed

6 - 10 May
is introducing

Ellenvale Gold
(Even Before Publishing November 2012)

Amanda Deed
About the Author

Amanda Deed grew up in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne in a Christian home, and found faith at an early age. She has followed her passion to serve the Lord through music and literature since her teen years. Now married, with three children, Amanda enjoys the variety of being a mother, finance administrator, musician and historical romance writer.

Her debut novel, The Game, won the 2010 CALEB Prize for fiction, and Ellenvale Gold was a finalist for the same prize in 2012.

For more information, visit www.amandadeed.com.au.

About the Book:
It is the time of Australia’s harsh rogue-filled goldrush of the 1850’s when Miss Penelope Worthington suddenly finds herself orphaned, isolated and alone. With a large sheep station to run single-handedly, she has little option but to enlist the aid of a mysterious, but sinister stranger.
But who is the more treacherous? Gus—the scruffy, trespassing, ex-convict who co-incidentally shows up looking for work just when she desperately needs a farmhand or Rupert—the handsome, wealthy neighbour who would willingly marry her at the drop of a hat and solve her apparent dilemma?

Repeatedly, her faith is tested as she faces the unforgiving elements, deceit, lies and uncertainty. But where and how will it all end? But…is it the end? Will vengeance return or will Penny’s faith prevail?

My Review

It is bad enough that Miss Penelope Worthington has lost both parents to Ellenvale Station, the Australian sheep run they established and run for several years. She has also lost her brother to the gold fields and now Joe, her faithful servant, to illness. Now it is left up to Penny to make ends meet with just Bertha to help. Neighbour Rupert Foxworth would gladly help, then a stranger, Angus McDoughan, arrives and offers his assistance. Penny doesn’t trust either of them, but knows she can’t manage alone…

I enjoyed Ellenvale Gold, which is set against the backdrop of the Australian Gold Rush, the ongoing tensions of living in a nation of convicts and ex-convicts, and the difficulties of carving a living out of a new land. It was also interesting to see how settlers like Penny still thought of themselves as English (or Scots) and dreamed of ‘home’ in the days before Australia’s independence and sought to follow English customs.

I also liked the way the author wove the Christian themes into the book. There was a clear Christian message and Penny, in particular, undertakes a journey from basic belief to actual faith and relationship in Christ, with this transformation coming across as real without being preachy.

Ellenvale Gold is the first in Amanda Deed’s Jackson Creek trilogy. I do recommend reading them in order – I had already read the final book, Henry’s Gold, and it may have affected my view of a couple of the characters—but to tell you any more would be a spoiler!

Thanks to Even Before Publishing for providing a free ebook for review.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Iola. Thanks for the review. Made me smile. XXOO