Thursday, 19 June 2014

Book Review: Charter to Redemption by DJ Blackmore

Review by Carol Preston

 Charter to Redemption by D.J. Blackmore
Cover blurb     At the close of 1821, the penal colony of Newcastle looks to be every bit as black as it’s painted. Emma charters a ride to Australia with a promise of marriage to a man she has never met. But appearances aren’t always as they seem. And with an unavoidable betrothal, Emma learns that shackles are not always forged from iron.
Tobias Freeman longs for redemption and hope. After a rough journey to New South Wales, Tobias learns the rations, regulations, and the reprisal of being a convict in Australia.
But when Emma and Tobias meet the unexpected happens. Neither of them expect the repercussions.

My review
This story is set in the Newcastle region of New South Wales in the 1820s, and has great historical insight about life in that time and place, not only in regard to convicts but also about the life of military personnel and the privileged immigrants. History enthusiasts and those with family connections in this area of the colony will find this story intriguing.  Blackmore has done her research well and weaves the historical aspects through the story with flair and attention to detail.   

This is above all a love story and the characters of Emma and Tobias are very engaging. As a reader I was easily drawn into Emma’s dilemma in being betrothed to a man she does not love, and her growing feelings for a man her society would deem unsuitable. Her conflict involves not only her emotions but also her faith, and this struggle is woven through the story with sensitivity. Her influence on those around her in regard to faith is realistically portrayed and gives a sense of a light in a dark place. Gideon Quinn is a thoroughly dislikable character, and well written so that the conclusion of the story is satisfying. Readers who enjoy a touching and exciting romance will love Blackmore’s debut novel and be looking for the next, I’m sure.
I was a little distracted by a few errors in paragraphing of dialogue and by missing or added small words in the text. This did not take away from the enjoyment of the story but did remind me how easily these things can be overlooked and how important that extra edit is.

Overall this is a story set in a fascinating time and place, with engaging characters, who have challenging life issues to deal with. It highlights the power of love and also the importance of faithfulness and integrity despite tragedy and hardship.

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Carol writes historical novels based on her family history, set in the early colonial days of Australia. You can see more about Carol and her novels on her website, Amazon page or FB page.


  1. Bought this book just the other day! Looking forward to reading it. Early Australia is a fascinating time in history for sure. Thanks for your review, Carol.

  2. Lovely review Carol.So tempting. I love this period in our history. Next trip to Koorong!

  3. Hi Carol,
    I enjoyed this story too. It's good to see new Australian colonial stories written by Aussies.

  4. Yes, this is my kind of book and it's well written. I hope others enjoy it.

  5. Carol, thanks for your review. Out of curiosity, did you read the print book or ebook version and see the paragraphing and word errors? I know on Kindle they'll send you an updated version of the book for free if the author/publisher updates the file.

  6. It was the book version, Narelle. I ordered it from Deidre when she released it. I think these things jump out more to another writer than most readers. It didn't spoil the enjoyment of the book.

  7. I thought you would enjoy this Carol. Sorry, I'm late coming in. Tried to post twice before but it disappeared on me.