A daring heroine tests her wits against secrets, spies and smugglers on a remote Australian island 'It's peculiar, the assumptions we all make. For instance, how, in a diary, the truth bone's connected to the hand bone ... You shouldn't believe everything you read.' 1879, Queensland. Fleeing her family home, 19-year-old Mary Oxnam has few prospects and no connections. PlaiA daring heroine tests her wits against secrets, spies and smugglers on a remote Australian island 'It's peculiar, the assumptions we all make. For instance, how, in a diary, the truth bone's connected to the hand bone ... You shouldn't believe everything you read.' 1879, Queensland. Fleeing her family home, 19-year-old Mary Oxnam has few prospects and no connections. Plain and penniless, she must rely on her audacious wit and fierce intelligence to survive. Mary soon finds work as a pianist in a Cooktown brothel, a cover for more lucrative employment as a spy into smuggling operations. Within a year she has moved to Lizard Island, locked into a marriage of convenience. It's a rough, isolated place, crawling with hidden enemies -- and unexpected temptation. Mary dreams of making enough money to live on her own terms, far from the murky world of espionage in which she has become embroiled. But as the plot of her secret employers nears fruition, the stakes climb ever higher and Mary's life is in great danger. Can her daring and luck save her one last time? Drawing on the little-known history of lawless Far North Queensland and based on the true story of a remarkable woman and her intriguing diary. A thrilling tale of peril and intrigue, infused with a heady combination of beauty and foreboding. The winner of a Victorian Premier's Literary Award, 2007....
|Title||:||The Secret Fate of Mary Watson|
|Number of Pages||:||464 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Secret Fate of Mary Watson Reviews
Sassy heroine and a historical setting but the mystery/thriller thing was quite distracting - was almost like the author had dropped V.I.Warshawski into ye olde Aussie outback. However I loved the idea that you can take an old diary and make a completely new story from a series of entries. Very clever premise and even though the character seemed out of place she was pretty entertaining. Took me a few weeks to get through it but I did enjoy and would recommend
A gripping novel filled with Australian history. Taking a real historical case from the 1870s Judy Johnson brings us the tale of Mary Watson as she imagines it could have been. There are spies, brothels, a vicious husband and a desolate island and these all add to a riveting story full of the spirit of lawless North Queensland.
DNF, alas, which is unfortunate since I bought this one from Australia. I didn't find the storyline convincing - an attempt to turn a tragic real-life event into a suspenseful thriller - and there were too many distracting metaphors. I'm leaving it unrated.
I like to be surprised by a book!I had passed over this one on the library shelves many times, thinking it was fairly ordinary historical fiction. However, from a fragment of Australian history Judy Johnson has crafted a rollicking yarn replete with memorable characters and poetic imagery. Yes, Mary seems a bit too well-educated for a young girl of her background. Yes, some elements of the ending are a bit too convenient. Yes, I learnt far more about sea-slug fishing than I ever needed to know. But on the whole it was a most engaging read.And it could have been like that, couldn't it?
The facts at the beginning of this book created an interest I found was not maintained by the fictional exploration. However, I pursued the whole book only as a break from more serious work I was dealing with at the time. There was something unsettling about the telling. Yet I don’t think it was the intended mystery of the author. There was something altogether too ‘modern’ about some of the attitudes of the main character which just didn’t quite sit right within the story for me.Perhaps it was the calculating nature of the main character right from the beginning. While I can appreciate some level of intentional manipulation, to have other characters respond to it as if they are mere puppets to her inner world when she is the visitor into their world is unconvincing. For me this attitude meant the author was too present throughout the work and took away from my enjoyment of the story within itself.Details of landscape and equipment maintained interest when I probably would have given up. Imaginative directions I wouldn’t have expected have me curious about other works by this writer, but only when I am not too demanding upon myself for substance and deep involvement.
Set in the late 19thC in Upper North Queensland and an island off it, this is not only a page-turner, but fascinating for the life described in such a place and time. The author specialises in writing stories based on true events and the story is all the more powerful on being based on the fate of the real Mary Watson, the final diary of whom is given in the first few pages of the book. Ms Johnson gives a neat explanation for the fate of Mary that only becomes obvious right at the end of the book and I care enough about the 'character' of Mary that she has described to hope that it could be true.
Given the grim nature of Mary Watson's diary, this is a surprisingly rollicking read. Judy Johnson has reconstructed Mary as a clever, plain, acerbic-tongued woman who looks with bitterly funny perception at the hardships of colonial FNQ for women, Chinese and Aborigines. A page-turning tale of colonial spying, murder and diplomacy written from the point of view of a respectable girl who played classical piano in a brothel! I couldn't put it down.
Had all the elements of a great story, a clever heroine in a mans world. The writing was magical in parts, and the real life quotes from the diaries were intriguing. Unfortunately the story was far too long and so slow that I couldn't give it any more than two stars.
The beginning of the book essentially gives away the ending, but it does have some twists you don't see coming. Its a little slow in the beginning, but I enjoyed listening to it.
I liked this book, although I found some traits of Mary's unbelievable at times it was just fiction