Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite
The Weif by DE Brand tells the story of Lizzie Darling, her brother, and Bella. First, Lizzie's brother is transported to Australia because of a prank that has gone terribly wrong - then Lizzie has to find out that a woman seems to not even have the right to defend herself when a man tries to rape her. For defending herself, she is also convicted as a criminal, and sent off to Australia. On the journey, she meets Bella, who becomes an important person in Lizzie's life. Lizzie works through her years, earns her ticket of leave, but decides to remain in Australia. Everything seems to go well until fate plays some cruel tricks on the young woman. She has to learn that nothing good seems to last forever, and that cruelty is something that always crosses her path and is used against her - until she decides that she can also be cruel.
While the reader gets to hear the stories of different characters in The Weif by DE Brand, Lizzie is clearly the central character - and deserves to be so, too. She is a woman that is thrown into the deep end many times, and who has to survive in a world in which women still have little to say. The reader is taken back to the time in which convicts were sent to Australia to serve their sentence. We learn a lot about the conditions of the transport and how convicts were really treated in Australia. The historic information is woven into the story in a very smooth manner; you simply can't help but learn more about that part of history. At the heart of the story, however, is the struggle of one woman for the right to live her life the way she wants to live it. I found the plot became more and more exciting with each chapter, and while I usually do not like woman's fiction, this one was a really good read!