1st - 5th September 2014
About the Book
Rebecca Oakes is thirteen years old when her mother, Suzannah, dies in the small town of Marengo, New South Wales, in 1873. With her older brother and sisters soon involved in their own lives, Rebecca is left alone to care for her ageing father. But Rebecca has a dream for her own life. She wants to make a difference to the world around her; a world where it is hardly possible for a woman to get an education, where women have no rights, no vote, no voice. Rebecca will have to fight the systems of her time if she is to achieve her goals. She must find the courage to stand against sexual and religious prejudice, and resist the pressures of even those close to her, in order to make her way towards her dream, influenced by one man who hates her, who will do anything to thwart her plans, and another man who loves her, and will do anything to make her happy.
Rebecca’s Dream is the second book in the Oakes Family Saga. Background notes and discussion questions are available for book clubs.
About the Author
Carol lives in Wollongong with her husband, Neil. She is a psychologist and has a part time private counselling practice, as well as being an author and speaker. Carol enjoys spending time with her children and four grandchildren, as well as bushwalking, gardening and holidaying overseas with her husband. One of her hobbies over many years has been family history research. It was this research which started Carol on the journey of writing novels.
Her first trilogy is about the Oakes Family; Suzannah’s Gold, Rebecca’s Dream and The Price of Peace, which takes the reader from 1838 when her great great grandmother, Suzannah Casey was transported from Ireland, through to the end of the First World War when Suzannah’s children and grandchildren are involved in the battle, not only to survive the war but to survive the waiting at home. The first two of these have recently been re-released by EBP. Carol’s fourth novel, The Face of Forgiveness, is about two young women who are transported to Australia in 1839. The most recent of Carol’s novel is a series based on her mother’s family, which begins with the First Fleet of convicts to Australia. These include Mary’s Guardian, Charlotte’s Angel, Tangled Secrets, and Truly Free.
I haven't read Rebecca's Dream,yet but will be reading and reviewing it later this year. In the meantime here is the review for the Suzannah's Goldwhich should really be read first.
Four and a half stars. Transported from Ireland to Australia, Suzannah undergoes a lot of hardship in her life. Suzanna encounter’s Caroline Chisholm and it is lovely to see the influence this woman had on young lives in the colony. There are the struggles of life in a new colony, the racism that exists between the early convicts and settlers and the Chinese, as well as the Aboriginal people. It also shows a lot of the religious prejudices that abounded between Catholic and Protestant. What a shame people had not been able to leave the attitudes behind when they came to the new land. But then we are not really so different today.
This book gives an interesting look at Australia in the 1800s and the early colonisation of New South Wales. Based on some of her ancestors’ stories, this novel has the ring of authenticity. Suzanne is an extremely likable and resilient character with a faith that underpins her actions. By contrast George, the man she marries, is weak and allows circumstances to overwhelm him much of the time. There is a love story or two involved but it may not quite turn out as readers expect and yet the end result is so fitting given the character of Suzannah. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel which involved me in a gamut of emotions from laughter, tears, frustration and anger at times. I will certainly be reading Rebecca’s Dream by the same author in the near future.