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Publisher's Summary

Van Diemen's Land, Australia, 1833
English settler Grace Ashwell flees an abusive lover in Hobart Town, with six-year-old Violet in tow. In her head, escape is easy: find work in the northern settlements and earn enough for passage home to London. But the terrain beyond the settled districts is wilder than Grace could ever have imagined. She and Violet find themselves lost in a beautiful but deadly land where rain thunders down mountains, the earth drops away without warning and night brings impenetrable darkness.
Deep in the wilderness, they find a crude hut inhabited by Alexander Dalton, an escaped convict long presumed dead. Hiding from civilization in an attempt to forget his horrifying past, Alexander struggles to let Grace into his world.
When Violet disappears, Grace's fragile trust in Alexander is put to the test. And while she searches for answers, he will do anything to keep his secrets inside.
Based around the true story of the Macquarie Harbor bolters; one of the most horrifying events from Colonial Australia's bloody history.
©2017 Johanna Craven (P)2017 Johanna Craven
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Customer Reviews

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By Todd (Toad) Vogel on 01-18-18

Great historical fiction!

At the end of the story, the author gives the historical facts that this book is based around. Johanna Craven creates a whole cast of fictional character and builds a story around an actual event in history. Amazing! The story takes place in the early 1800s in Australia. The main character, Grace Ashwell, moves to Australia with her lover and his two children to start a new life together. Soon after arriving, her lover has her committed to an insane asylum. Grace escapes and kidnaps one of his daughters, Violet, to rescue her from his abuse. She wanted to rescue both but wasn't able to. She would try to return later for Nora. They flee to one of the other colonies only to get lost in the bush. Instead of finding another colony, she finds an escaped convict who has been hiding in the woods for years. Alexander Dalton had been presumed dead. Once Violet goes missing in the night, Grace blames him for her disappearance. The truth is much darker and sadder.

Great job by narrator Rebecca McKerran. She does an excellent job telling the story and bringing the characters to life. I love all the accents as well!

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By Pam C on 01-14-18

Very good!

Johanna Craven took me to a place I had never been before, and I have read a lot of books. The story of Grace, the twins Violet and Nora, Harrison and Alexander is so well written, so intriguing, that I could hardly put the book down. I say book, but I listened to the audio book and Rebecca Mckernan did a FANTASTIC job of narrating the story. I believed I was right there. Her attention to detail with the story made my heart race at times and completely break at others. I enjoyed this and will look for others by both talents.

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Customer Reviews

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By Christian on 01-09-18

A fascinating study on human nature

Where does Forgotten Places rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is truly one of the best.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Forgotten Places?

When you find out everything's very different from how it seems to be.

Which character – as performed by Rebecca McKernan – was your favourite?

Alexander Dalton.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and no. Yes, because it was so thrilling and no because sometimes I needed a break from the described circumstances.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommended - and very unsettling.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By Raven on 01-14-18

Mystery and Thriller

I listened to the audiobook version of this novel. The story revolves around Grace, an English woman who moves to the new colonies in Australia with her lover and his two young daughters. However, things don't go to plan and Grace finds herself incarcerated in an insane asylum. She escapes, and retrieves one of the man's daughters, thinking she is saving the child from abuse. Grace is devasted that she couldn't rescue both girls and sets out for the next nearest settlement. Unfortunately, she gets lost in the forest and ends up meeting a convict that has been hiding out there for years. Starving and cold, she has no choice but to seek shelter with him. But then the child, Violet, goes missing. Did the man do something to her?

This story is about love, trust, loss and hope. The author does a good job of keeping up the mystery element of the story and the characters are well rounded. I didn't warm to the character of Grace very much until the end. The other main character, Alexander Dalton, was interesting as the reader/listener is never sure if he is a good or bad man.
The only small issue with this novel for me was that sometimes the POV would change without warning, which brought me out of the story. Otherwise, I really enjoyed listening.

The narrator did a good job of bringing the story and characters to life.

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