Cover Image: The Exiles

The Exiles

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Member Reviews

This book was wonderful! It was amazing with characters and setting! I would highly recommend this book!

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I loved how the story was told with the interwoven storyline. I wanted to learn more about the characters and the bonds that they formed.

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She does it again. Meticulously researched and beautifully written. Kline finds these moments in history and fleshes them out like no one else. She brings historical fiction to life. How else could I possibly be seduced into learning about female convicts and aborigines in Australia? A brilliant read.

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I read it a while ago and forgot to post my review! This will be short since it has been a while= but yes I really enjoyed this book!

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Wow, I know I’m super late but thank you to NetGalley, Custom House Publishing, and HarperAudio for early digital copies in exchange for an honest review!

My reading has been awful lately due to life events, but I’m starting to fall back into the groove of things. Hopefully I’ll get to more of my NetGalley books now.

I listened to the audio for this book while I read along. I really enjoyed both formats, and if you’re interested in listening to it, then I highly recommend it. It’s such an easy listen. I have no complaints about the audio! It’s narrated by Caroline Lee. It’s just over 10 hours long.

I was so hyped for this book when it first came out, then I didn’t even pick it up. I love the writing style and how digestible everything is in this one. It’s very much my taste in historical fiction—follows multiple characters, important topics, and includes a couple plot twists. However, there are parts of the book that I found forgettable. There were parts I just didn’t care for, and I don’t know if it’s the book or me.

The ending of the story was my favorite part. I think there was good closure. It didn’t end how I expected but it was definitely better than what I thought.

This is my first Kline novel, and I’ll definitely pick up other works by her. If you’re interested in historical fiction, I highly recommend you give this a shot. There’s so much positivity surrounding this book and rightly so. If you don’t want to sit a read it, I would give the audio a go. It’s great!

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I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Although I haven't yet read Orphan Train, I have read some of Kline's other books, and I've enjoyed them. The time period in Australia when this book was set was not one I had read much about, though I had heard stories. It was interesting to have characters of different classes and circumstances to give it a more broad view. I thought the characters were well developed and the story flowed well. I was surprised by certain plot twists (Evangeline's death for example). It kept me interested. 4.5

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It was so refreshing to read about a time period other than WWII in historical fiction. I didn't know much about this time in Australian history. There are struggles and tragedies throughout this book. There are also moments of courage and resilience.
The plight of these women will stay with you.

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This book is amazing!!!!!!!!!! I've never read anything by Christina Baker Kline but I definitely will look her other books up!!!!!! This book is perfect for historical fiction fans!!!!!! I loved her style of storytelling these heroic women's stories and putting them together the way she does. I am a fan for life now!!!!! I highly recommend this book

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Haunting and powerful. The writing here is second to none and I predict this will be a popular title at my library. Recommended.

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Set in the early 19th century, Evangeline is a governess seduced by her charges' older brother and discovers she is with child. Jealously and vengeance leads to her being framed in a crime and sentenced to the penal colonies in Australia. During transport she meets Hazel, a girl barely out of childhood with a hand for healing and a chip on her shoulder. Despite Hazel's best efforts, these two family-less young women become friends and start to rely on each other during the frightening voyage. Mathinna is an orphaned Australian Aboriginal that is adopted by a wealthy English family as a social experiment. She finds herself torn between the shreds that remain of her native culture and her new life of opulence.
Kline has created an original narrative of the rarely written about imprisonment, transport, and forced labor of the poor and destitute under the guise of punishing criminals. While I found Mathinna's story interesting and an important inclusion, it was not tightly woven with Evangeline and Hazel's story. It easily could have been entirely independent of the rest of the book. Despite the disconnect between the two storylines, I greatly enjoyed the story. Lovers of Historic Fiction will love this novel.
#TheExiles #NetGalley

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I found this book to be a bit unbelievable. The premise was excellent and I really looked forward to reading it but there were way to many coincidences that tied up loose ends too easily.

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This was such an amazing and painful book to read about the mistreatment of women and children during the years that Tasmania was used a a penal colony, but even more so for the history and horrific abuse that Aboriginal people experienced at the hands of the British during those same years of colonization (1800s).

Kline’s research is obvious and outlined at the end of the book, which I appreciate in historical fiction that may weave a fictional story, but also informs a reader with plenty to refer to for more depth and history.

This would make an excellent book club discussion as it’s rich in details, storylines, and new learning about a subject many have probably not heard much about.

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I loved this story about a part of history I had no clue existed. I loved all the elements and I loved how the main character in the beginning died in the middle yet the story continued and still flourished.

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Once again, CBK has delivered an excellent historical fiction. What an amazing story of how criminals colonized Australia. The book is harsh and cruel and brutal in its depiction of how poorly the women convicts were kept in both British and Australian jails and on the transport between the two. And yet the story resonates with the power of resilience, friendship and love. A book not to be forgotten anytime soon.

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This book was amazing! I loved the cover also! In this book, Christina Baker Kline tells the story through the eyes of three women in Australia. Set in the 1840s, Evangeline a governess becomes pregnant and imprisoned, learns she will be sent to a penal colony in Australia . On the ship, the Medea, Evangeline meets Hazel. Hazel is a skilled midwife and herbalist. She uses those skills and doles out her remedies to the prisoners and the sailors. By the time the ship arrives, the British have relocated the Aboriginal people off of the land. One of the people, Mathinna, the orphaned daughter of a Chief, has been a adopted by the new governor. There is hardship and unbreakable female friendships. Thank you to the publisher and #netgalley for an advance reader copy of this novel.

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(Thank you for the publisher for the free review copy.) The Exiles is a heart-wrenching, realistic story of women who lived in 1840's Australia. The novel opens with parallel tragedies - one woman, unwed and pregnant, is forced into imprisonment and transport to Australia. The other is a young Aboriginal girl who is taken from her family and culture and set up as a cultural museum piece in the home of rich British officials. Both stories provide a clear-eyed view at the violent beginnings of the European colonization of Australia. At times, I struggled reading the book, because their lives felt hopeless and isolated. Injustices pile upon tragedies, even as other women enter the story. What makes the story so difficult is the knowledge it is based on fact - the true lives of women who were abandoned and used for the power and enjoyment of others. Yet it also shows the resilience of humanity in the face of such suffering. Redemption doesn't come to everyone in the story; and that is good, because it soberly reminds us of the roots of the suffering we see in certain populations today. Yet others do find it. And it is the ending which shows the full spectrum of human experience and response that makes this such a powerful book for readers.

Trigger warnings: maternal death after childbirth, rape, child abuse/neglect, violence, racism, murder.

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Moving between several female characters, this vivid and engrossing historical novel depicts the adventures and misadventures of British and Indigenous exiles at sea and in Australia in the mid-180os.

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At least two of our library book clubs will be reading this next year. Thank you for the ARC so I could recommend this to our patrons.

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A well researched, well written, deeply emotional, and exceptional read. The intertwining of these women’s stories in early 19th century Australia was deeply moving, engaging, and relevant. Evangeline and Mathinna’s stories drew me in, Hazel and Ruby’s kept me there until the end. This story of women convicts plights in 1840 Australia, a young aboriginal girl ripped from the life she knew, and the strong women that came through these times needed to be told. Based on historical truths and characters, this novel will stay with me for awhile.

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Taking place in the mid-1800s, this book is focused on the transport of prisoners from Great Britain to Australia. We are immersed with characters that find themselves in situations they couldn’t imagine, while thrown in with people never suspected they would end up being around.

The book is full of tragedy, and feelings of punishment that is unjust. It is a scathingly look at colonialism and British superiority, along with class and disregard for human life if anyone steps beyond the bounds of their station or duties.

It is well written, engaging, captivating, and a quick read.

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