Rating: 3.5 / 5
Rachel Leary delivers a compelling narrative about a British convict sent to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) in 1826. This intense and fulfilling novel reveals Bridget’s backstory and character upon the backdrop of the Tasmanian wilderness.
From recollections of her childhood, to the trauma she experiences at the hands of settlers and her decision to run away and fend for herself, there is never a dull moment, and each page is heart-stopping as we see Bridget continually fighting for her life—first as a convict, then as a wanted woman.
While the landscape threatens to consume Bridget, the primary source of danger is the men around her, and the graphic depictions of the assault and rape of female convicts and the Aboriginal people forced from their land by settlers are confronting. Bridget Crack is not always an easy read, but a historically accurate one that deserves your attention.