Pursuit of Mary McBride

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
272 Pages
Reviewed on 05/23/2009
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

The story begins in London, 1832.  Rebecca was an orphan, taken in by a madam where she learns to be a prostitute.  She was sent to Australia as a punishment of a crime she did not commit.  She was forced to marry a cruel man.  He beat and raped her.  To Michael, she was nothing more than a slave.  Her daughter, Mary, was sold to a ruthless man, who took her into the Outback.  Determined to find and rescue her daughter, Rebecca and the man that loved Mary, Campbell, began their search for Mary.

Bruce Cooke is an extremely talented author.  He swiftly transports readers into the past where they experience life in 1800’s Australia.  The characters come to life on the pages of this book.  They are multifaceted.  The plot is gripping.  I will be watching for more books by Bruce Cooke.

Paul Mahoney

This is an interesting book that starts off in England where a young Rebecca is a street waif is taken in by a madame who takes pity on her. As she ages Rebecca convinces the madame to let her service customers instead of being a maid. Life is pretty good but one thing leads to another and Rebecca finds herself in distress as she is now a convict on board a ship bound for Australia to help populate the new colong.

Rebecca has difficult decisions to make does she "put out" to gain food or favour or does she stick to her principles. In Australia she is drawn into a web of intrigue at the request of the governor. This leads to her becoming pregnant whilst still in prison.

Rebecca gets out of prison when she is chosen by a free settler to be his wife. But it is not a life of bliss as her husband beats her savagely and eventually rapes her daughter Mary. Rebecca's husband sells Mary to a total stranger for fifty pounds. This is when the "pursuit for Mary McBride: begins. Rebecca is determined to resuce Mary from the brute who her husband has sold her to.

How will Rebecca get away from her husband? How will she find Mary again in such a vast continent?

I won't spoil by giving everything away except to say quite an enjoyable read but please be warned some of the sex scenes are a bit graphic.