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Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite
A Long Journey: From Steam to Cyber by Gracie Stathers follows the life journey and family history of several families and their descendants. The story begins in the mid-nineteenth century when many families are struggling to make a living. Unfairly convicted and sent to Norfolk Island to a penal colony in the southern ocean, the men are forced to take the hazardous sea journey to a time of hard labour and humiliation. Eventually they serve their time and end up in New Zealand, where they believe they will have a better future. Two world wars, a gold rush and chronic southern winters devastate them, but their determination and work ethic take them on a new path and to a land they can finally call home.
The author, Gracie Stathers, has created an epic family saga in A Long Journey. The reader is immediately drawn to each family and their individual circumstances. In addition, a credible picture is painted of the harshness of the era and the wildness, and at other times, the beauty of a newly-discovered land on the other side of the world. This is contrasted by their emotional devastation at leaving behind their wives and children, and not knowing what their future holds. A very emotional read that will please lovers of historical fiction as well as intrepid travellers, and those who enjoy adventure and satisfy their pioneering dreams within the pages of a book. Well written, a sound arc, believable characters and good historical content make this book an excellent read.