After reading the first book in the Macquarie Series, I couldn’t wait to dive into the second, “The Far Horizon.” Beginning in Scotland and moving to Botany Bay (Sydney, Australia – before the country was called Australia), we get to see Lachlan Macquarie remarry, have a child and become governor of New South Wales, the convict colony that he would champion and rename Australia. If you’re into historical novels where the characters were real people in history, yet, promise a fascinating read, well, read on! I have a lot to tell you about!
First of all, if you’ve read my review of “By Eastern Windows” (Book #1 in the Macquarie Series) you’ll know that I became an instant fan of Browne’s writing style and how she turned this real life person into someone the reader would enjoy knowing more about. All the things I loved about the first book flowed seamlessly into the second. The way she crafted the accents of the Irish, British and Natives – making you feel like you were there when the ship pulled into Sydney for the first time – and last but not least, making a real story so enjoyable I didn’t want to put it down. All these things kept me captivated as Lachlan took his family around the world to the far off land of New South Wales.
I gotta admit, after reading a book like this, I had to Google more about Macquarie to see just how much of the novel was true. Never had my curiosity been piqued more! More importantly, never had it been more satisfied with the result. All the good things that Governor Macquarie did in the book appear to be truthfully taken from accounts of his real life – what a man! Not only did he take the crooked streets of Sydney and transform them into a respectable town, he was a champion of the people – convict, native and free – and made his life work this far off place that no one else seemed to care about. The man had character and was a true leader of the people. I really enjoyed reading about his life as Governor of New South Wales from 1810 – 1821!
“When an army advances, all the soldiers march forward, not just the top-ranking officers and generals – and the same goes for a country and its people.” – Lachlan Macquarie, page 160
Conclusion: The people who were sent to New South Wales could be convicted for seven years for crimes such as stealing a loaf of bread, borrowing a master’s mirror, or, any other reason a wealthy person could come up with to send a servant away they didn’t like. (Sometimes without a trail.) After serving their seven years, many had no means or way to return home. When Lachlan Macquarie became Governor, life changed for the convicts in Australia. Better. Hopeful. As the book said, Elizabeth (Lachlan’s second wife) even overhead some servants say, “Life in Botany might be worth living after all.” (page 123) “The Far Horizon” was a great book – I learned a lot about Australia and this man who lived for others. A great read!
Interested in learning more about Major General Lachlan Macquarie? Click here!
Missed my first review on “By Eastern Windows?” Click here to read!