FLED is the debut novel of Thomas Keneally's daughter Meg. I have been waiting for this book ever since I heard about it. It sounds like an amzing story and if Meg can write even half as good as her father it should be a winner. This is going to be another buddy read with the wonderful Nat K.
Here is a synopsis -
Based on the life of an incredible historical heroine, a harrowing journey in search of love, justice, and freedom, told by the daughter of best-selling author Thomas Keneally (Schindler's List)
Jenny Gwyn has proven herself a survivor. Faced with destitution after the death of her father, she toughens her skin to become a highwaywoman in order to support her impoverished family. But one fatal mistake leads to her arrest, and the king’s justice demands her death. Rather than beg for mercy, Jenny condemns the system that would have her choose between obeying the law and dying, and breaking it for a chance to live. Her ferocity convinces the judge to spare her life, sentencing her and dozens of other convicts to a transport across the world to help settle England's newest colony in Australia.
After being contained on a filthy ship and selling her body for protection, Jenny is horrified to learn that her struggles have only just begun. The harsh landscape of Sydney Cove isn't welcoming to its new settlers with its arid climate and precious little fresh water, and despite the lack of shackles or bars, she and the others are still prisoners under the strict watch of Governor Edward Lockharty, and no amount of cunning can earn his favor. Jenny refuses to submit to the governor or to the barren land unable to support the growing population. Determined to find a better life for herself and her children, she braves the sea, and a journey of over three thousand miles in a small rowboat, for a chance at a future worth fighting for.
Based on the true story of Mary Bryant, an iconic figure in the foundation lore of Australia as Great Britain's penal colony, Fled is a sweeping, heart-wrenching account of one woman's life-long search for freedom.
Meg Keneally started her working life as a junior public affairs officer at the Australian Consulate-General in New York, before moving to Dublin to work as a sub-editor and freelance features writer. On returning to Australia, she joined the Daily Telegraph as a general news reporter, covering everything from courts to crime to animals' birthday parties at the zoo. She then joined Radio 2UE as a talkback radio producer.
In 1997 Meg co-founded a financial service public relations company, which she sold after having her first child. For more than ten years, Margaret has worked in corporate affairs for listed financial services companies, and doubles as a part-time SCUBA diving instructor. She lives in Sydney with her husband Craig and children Rory and Alex.