Adult Fiction

Review :: The Boy with Blue Trousers by Carol Jones

I’m delighted today to be sharing my review of Carol Jones’ historical fiction novel The Boy with the Blue Trousers, as part of a blog tour with publisher Head of Zeus. Read on below the synopsis to find out what I thought.

What is Carol Jones’ The Boy with the Blue Trousers about?

On the goldfields of 19th-century Australia, two very different girls are trying to escape their past.

1856, China.

In the mulberry groves of the Pearl River Delta, eighteen-year-old Little Cat carries a terrible secret. And so, in disguise as a boy in blue trousers, she makes the long and difficult passage to Australia, a faraway land of untold riches where it is said the rivers run with gold.

1857, Australia.

Violet Hartley has arrived off the boat from England, fleeing scandal back home. Like the Chinese immigrants seeking their fortunes on the goldfields, Violet is seduced by the promise of a new frontier. Then she meets Little Cat, a woman who, like her, is trying to escape her past.

As their fates inextricably, devastatingly entwine, their story becomes one of freedom, violence, love and vengeance, echoing across the landscapes of two great continents.

My review of The Boy with the Blue Trousers by Carol Jones

I read this one on my kindle, which means I missed out on that gorgeous cover, but also that I hadn’t read the synopsis very closely until I looked it up just now, and I feel like less of Little Cat’s story was set on the goldfields than I expected.Perhaps this was to do with the pacing – I found myself racing though the second half as the stories came together.

This book sits pretty comfortably in my wheelhouse. I love stories about how people from different backgrounds arrived in Australia, and what it might have been like for them, especially when these stories centre on women – I love seeing women’s stories written back into history.

I think the bits of the story told from Little Cat’s perspective were my favourite. I really liked how strong she was, and the way she fought against the restrictions society put around her. I really felt the wonder of all the things she was experiencing for the first time. I thought Jones did an excellent job of giving her two heroines distinct voices – their chapters definitely felt different.

Violet was an interesting character. I couldn’t decide whether I disliked or admired her. In the narrative told from her perspective she is open and unapologetic about the fact she is basically out to catch a husband, but it was also clear that there was little else that she could do if she wanted to thrive in her new life.

I thought this was a fairly easy and quick read about a time and place in our history that I haven’t read lot about before (something I hope to change!). I think this would be a good one for readers who enjoyed Darry Fraser’s The Widow of Ballarat.

Thanks so much to the team at Head of Zeus for having me on the blog tour!

xo Bron

The Boy with the Blue Trousers by Carol Jones
Out now from Head of Zeus
Source: Free ebook provided by Head of Zeus (thank you!)
Category: Historical fiction


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