Fled by Meg Keneally : Comments by Moira McAlister © July 2020
Based on the true story of Mary Bryant, Meg Keneally has done a great job with this novel- it is her first independent novel, though she has co-written four, with her father, Tom.
The story itself is full of action and adventure as the escaped convicts make their way to Coepang only to be recaptured, most of them (including Mary’s two children) dying of fever. She is finally pardoned and lived out her years in her native Cornwall.
I like the fact that Meg Keneally says, in the author’s note, that the fictitious Jenny gave her the freedom to fill in the gaps in Mary’s life. She has entwined the fictitious with the facts where possible and produced a fast paced, easy to read novel, with short chapters and characters which are believable and evoke empathy. Jenny herself is strong, and with Keneally’s telling, is multi-faceted; a soft and loving mother, fiercely independent, intelligent and brave.
Looking forward to reading her second novel The Wreck recently released.