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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 2 February 2004
I bought this book because it had some good reviews and because I fancied a change of author. This was possibly the best decision I have made so far this year! The story of Mary is completely awe inspiring. I would never have contemplated what life was like for those poor people who were transported, but now I can't stop thinking about them and the terrible hardships they must have faced.
Mary truly was a remarkable woman. I know that if it had been me in her place, I would have succommed to death at the first step of her journey.
Lesley has told this story with great admiration and respect for all those involved. The characters have really been brought to life once again.
I think that's what makes it such a good story, the fact that it really happened. It is just a shame that nothing else is known about her life where the book leaves her.
I have complete admiration for Lesley and know that I will be reading all her other books.
If this doesn't sound like your kind of book, all I can say is that it wasn't mine either, but it is possibly the best book I've ever read. So do yourself a favour and spend the couple of pounds on it, it's well worth every penny!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 28 February 2004
Tells of the first convicts who were sent to Botany Bay and their fight for survival. In particular Mary, who had the most incredible courage and resilience. Even more amazing when it's based on a true story.
Horrifying, the conditions they were kept in. Locked away in the hold of the ships, starving, lying in their own mess, riddled with lice and overun with rats. It was therefore not a surprise that many died of disease and illness on the long journey.
Heartbreaking, when they finally arrived, many of them no more that animals, to find that it wasn't quite what they had expected and their fight for survival had only just begun.
A brilliant book that will have you hooked from the start - it certainly kept me up all night!
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on 5 May 2004
This book is based on a true story of a young woman who, after petty theft, is deported to Australia as part of the very first group of 'criminals' to be sent there. The hardships she (and the colony) face are horrifying and heartbreaking but the positive happenings are happy and lovely, all very well written. (makes you want to read and read)!

Ms. Pearse has managed to write a fabulous novel. Once you reach the end of the book you so much want to read and learn more about the life of the 'heroine'. Shame no more is known about her.
I totally recommend this book to anyone, it's a fantastic read!
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on 1 September 2003
This book is definitely one of Lesley Pearce's best set in 1786. It is a story about a very strong woman called Mary and her determination through many devastating life events. Mary is caught stealing a hat and is sentenced to hang for her crimes. However she gets 'transported' to a new prison colony in Australia. Mary is so pleased to have escaped hanging that she looks forward to a move across the world to make a fresh start. However when she arrives (and throughout the journey there) life is not as it seems........
This is a fantastic book, it had me in tears for large portions of it and the most devastating thing was that it was based on a true story. I couldn't put this book down and despite it being over 500 pages long I finished it in a day! Highly recommended...... The ending is a bit disappointing but the authors note at the end of the novel makes up for the swift conclusion of the book.
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on 15 February 2004
Having read many of Lesley Pearse's other books, I couldn't wait to start on this one. I wasn't disappointed. The story pulls you in from the very start and with it's interesting and vibrant characters, leaves you wanting to know more. I was very inspired by Mary's battle for survival, with the tragedy she experiences often reducing me to tears. This made even more poignant by the fact that it is based on a true story. I fully recommend this as a fantastic read, that is comparable to others that Lesley has written.
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on 28 March 2004
This book is truely remarkable and most definitely unputdownable. Lesley Pearce makes the individual characters come alive and the way in which she describes the scenery and landscapes are amazing! Being from Cornwall myself gave it a special meaning for me also but I would definitely recommend this book to any book lover. When I first picked up the book I thought it was not for me as I don't usually go for stories set so long ago but I now realise that not to have read this book would have been a travesty. Beyond any doubt the best book I have ever read.
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on 16 July 2004
Another truly phenomenal epic by Lesley Pearse...Once again she provides us all with an outstandingly emotional read but this times it is better than any of my, or anyone else's expectations. A true story of Mary Broad, a young women convicted of highway robbery - sentenced to death but escapes that punishment only to face a journey which is worse than death. I can guarantee that you will not be able to lay this book down and that you will be reduced to tears no less than 5 times (as I was!) Hardships are over come as once again you go on a journey with a head-strong and passionate young woman. An un-missable book - if you have not read it yet you are missing out on a fantastic read and you should definitely purchase it.
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on 27 December 2003
This was one of the most fantastic books I have ever read. I couldn't stop reading it and cried most of the way through it. The writing is compelling and it is a book that is too difficult to put down.
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on 20 August 2012
I feel distinctly in a minority finding myself unable to pile praise on this story as so many others have. Having read one previous novel by Lesley Pearse (Till We Meet Again), I liked it enough to see what else she had written. 'Remember Me' caught my interest me for its subject matter, and all the rosy ratings certainly left me in anticipation.

For a story based on the life of a real (and apparently daring) person, I was struck at how one-dimensional Mary Broad was painted, the way she was set apart from the other convicts: Mary (in her own voice) was kind and strong, and all the others bad and weak and the women all jealous of her. This theme played throughout the story to disturbing and undermining effect; it also felt an affront to the countless unremembered female and male convicts who endured long, slow, suffering deaths from hunger and disease while building Australia's first penal colonies. We kept being 'told' Mary was exceptional. Whether she was or nor, my only sense of her in this tale was of an ordinary person with a simplistic psychology, doing what she had to in order to survive. No bad thing, but in itself it doesn't make for extraordinary.

Reading about the horrific conditions the convicts had to endure during their months at sea left me wondering why it didn't move me more. The same with the telling of an historically documented incident when they finally reached Sydney Cove and everyone went ashore. A scene that should have made compelling reading, left me less than underwhelmed.

The second part of this book was definitely an improvement on the first half, which dragged. I recognise this is a novel, not a biography, and so licence has been taken with the truth. That wasn't the problem for me so much as the nature of the storytelling. Mary Broad's character simply never achieved depth. If you want an elementary read then this is OK. On balance, it didn't work for me. It had a powerful potential I felt it failed to realise.
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on 8 May 2004
I envy you if you have the treat in store of reading this book for the first time! I found it difficult to tear myself away from it to do anything else, and was truly sad to come to the last page. It's well written and easy to read, and has wonderful characters which reminded me of other books that draw you into them, such as 'Gone with the wind'. I recommend this to anyone who wants a really good read...
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