TUESDAY AFTERNOON BOOK CLUB
Christina Baker Kline, the author of “Orphan Train”, has returned with an emotional novel set in Nineteenth Century Australia. The Tuesday Afternoon Book Club read this book, “The Exiles”,
Evangeline, a young governess in London in 1840 is seduced by her employer’s son and accused
of stealing the ruby ring he gave her. As he was out of town, she was sent to prison. After
months in the primitive prison, she is sent to “the land beyond the seas” – Van Diemen’s Land,
a penal colony in Australia. The child she is expecting is born on her journey.
The “Medea”, a repurposed slave ship, carries women from England to Australia to the prison.
On the journey Evangeline strikes up a friendship with Hazel, a young midwife and herbalist,
who offers home remedies to prisoners and sailors.
In a parallel story we meet Mathinna, the orphan daughter of the Chief of a tribe of indigenous
people. She has been located to Van Diemen’s Land as well.
Christina Baker Kline weaves an interesting story of women in an unsettled country and how
they survived. It is a story of hardships, friendships, survival and the hopes of these women in
the 1800’s in Australia. It is a book which will keep you reading.
Stop by the LeRoy Public Library to check out this book or one of many available.