The Plains Of Promise

Written by Roslyn Fentiman
Review by Marina Oliver

It’s 1850, and a group of pioneers, led by English curate Tom Barrett, travels to North Australia to found a new colony. This is the story of their journey, the loves of Tom and a German orphan, Annelise, and Tom’s sister, Elinor and ex-convict, Danny. The second part of the book is mainly concerned with Danny’s daughter, Aiden.

The life and scenery of Australia are eloquently described, both in the beauty and the cruelty. Life in the convict settlement is brutal and hard. The details of the long trek, from near the Brisbane River to the north of what became Queensland, shows how tough the early settlers were. The author shows an equally sure touch when Aiden visits her English family. My only regret is that the events and characters are dealt with too briefly, and I’d have preferred two books, or one twice the length! I’m looking forward to more books by this author.