On a balmy midsummer's evening in 1923, a young woman – foreign, dishevelled and heavily pregnant – is found unconscious just off the railway tracks in the tiny logging community of Woody Creek.
The town midwife, Gertrude Foote, is roused from her bed when the woman is brought to her door. Try as she might, Gertrude is unable to save her, but the baby lives.
When no relatives come forth to claim the infant, Gertrude's daughter Amber – who has recently lost a son in childbirth – and her husband Norman take the child in. In the ensuing weeks, Norman becomes convinced that God has sent the baby to their door, and in an act of reckless compassion and lonely desperation, he names the baby Jennifer and registers her in place of his son.
Loved by some but scorned by more, including her stepmother and sister, Jenny survives her childhood and grows into an exquisite and talented young woman. But who were her parents?
Spanning two momentous decades and capturing rural Australia's complex and mysterious heart, Pearl in a Cage is the unputdownable new novel by one of our most talented storytellers.
My Rating: 4.5/5
I received this book for review from Pan Macmillan Australia. They also provided me with the other three books in the series.
This is my most surprising read so far of 2013. I don't read much of adult fiction and so really did not expect to love this book as much as I did.
I found this book really slow paced and even though normally this would be something that would make me stop reading I wasn't able to because I was so caught up with the characters and the story.
The amount of characters as well is something that would normally turn me off. I liked that there were so many characters as it gave the realistic feeling of a small Australian country town.
I liked how the author casually mentions historical facts in with the story such as the prime minister dying or World War II as it reminded me what era this book is set and also gave more life to the characters and the town.
The characters were all so well portrayed and every single one of them were written with so much depth. Jenny was by far my favourite but there weren't any characters that I didn't love or didn't love to hate.