Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Botany Bay

I said I would share more information about this book which is what I'm about to do. If you're worried about the book being spoiled before you read it then you might not want to read the next paragraph or two.

This book is written based on the French Diary of Julienne Fulbright. She, accidentally, stowed away on a French ship headed for the new colonies in Australia. The story, based on her diary, tells of the voyage there, the time spent there, & how her amnesia effected her. In the end of the story her memory returns & she suddenly realises who she really is, the captain of the boat she is on has suspected it but because she claimed she was a boy did not question her about it. However, that is where the story ends. If you're looking for a happy reunion for this young lady with her family it's not there. The book ends when the diary ends. No one knows whatever happened to this young lady, the crew from the ship, or the ship itself. It simply did not make it to it's final destination. The letter they sent back to France gave one date for departure while the British in Sydney Cove claimed several days later. They found the remains of the ship sunken off the coast of an island. They also found remains of what appear to be French items of that time period. The journal was one of the things they found. There are theories of what may have happened to the group of people, but nothing certain. Over the years they've sent different groups from France to go & check the place the ruins were found &, as of the time the book was printed the latest group had found that diary.

Now, as for the book & lending itself to Australian history. It was a delightful read. It explained how other countries, the French in particular, saw the treatment of the prisoners in Sydney Cove. It also shed light on how they saw the way people were behaving that were in command. That is not to say that it differs from the British or Australian accounts, but simply that it agrees with it. However, while the book was delightful & the date of the book lended itself to this particular time in our studies, I do think it would be better suited to reading during the time when you read the My Australian Diary of Surviving Sydney Cove.  This is also a deep & semi emotional story. This young girl has no idea who she is & only trusts one man on the ship enough to tell him. There is much she suffers through & sees as well. It was not above my children by any means, but our Jayden didn't care for the book. 

He struggles with books that have a lot of deep emotion & not enough action. So it wasn't a huge surprise that he didn't enjoy the book as a whole. There was not much action in the book in regards to major things happening.  We ended up countering this book with a whole lot of Paddington which had him laughing hysterically the whole time.

All that said, we did enjoy the book, but I'm super excited to start the next one I had picked out: The Journal Of Watkin Stench. Which is a telling of the journey on the First Fleet from the view of a rat. We had to wait on this book to arrive in the mail & then we had the wrong book shipped to us which meant double the waiting, but at long last it's here so I'm very excited to get started with it!

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