Aussie Author Challenge Book Reviews

Book Review: By Sea and Stars by Trent Dalton

by sea and stars trent dalton

By Sea and Stars tells the story of the First Fleet. It is about the journey from England that led to the founding of Australia and is told from the perspectives of those who were part of it – either willingly or unwillingly.

This was originally a multi-part serial for The Australian newspaper which Dalton writes for and was later converted into a book. He draws on historical sources from the time including letters and journals and using his poetic prose, brings this voyage and the individuals to life. You read about the twelve-year-old convict, John Hudson, Captain General Arthur Phillip, the thirteen-year old girl Elizabeth Howard, the Eora people who keep their distance as these strangers arrive at Botany Bay, and other convicts and officials. No one is either good or bad; they are human and some have no control over what is happening to them.

Being a migrant, I haven’t grown up with Australian history and don’t claim to know much about it. I am however, very aware of how sensitive the topic of finding this nation is with debate still continuing over calling it Australia Day {yes, we need to change the date}. For what it’s worth, Dalton narrates history without taking sides. He shows the humanity of the individuals involved – their flaws, their strengths, their hopes and dreams. He alludes to the bloodshed that will eventually come, the gap that will eventually exist between the indigenous and non-indigenous people.

It has made me more interested in reading about Australian history. If you’re looking for a book to gift this Christmas, this one might be on your list. The cover is beautiful, the prose interesting and there are snippets of handwritten letters and maps to peruse.

My rating:

Where to find the author:

Website | Instagram | Twitter

***Read and reviewed for the 2018 Aussie Author Challenge hosted by Jo***

Until next time,

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  • Shalzmojo
    12 December 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Hmmmm interesting review Sanch. I just love how you analyse everything so cleverly – your praise is very lavish. Its evident you are pretty impressed with this writer šŸ˜‰

    I am going to reserve judgement on this one and will check out some more reviews about it!Plus I am still in the middle of my read of the one you gifted me from this author! Wait for my review on that one.

    Agree with the cover – its just gorgeous!!!
    Shalzmojo recently posted…#MyMojo ā€“ 5 Indie authors I look Upto by Anupriya GuptaMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      13 December 2018 at 5:34 am

      Iā€™m assuming a lot more Aussies will read this as opposed to those elsewhere but yes, Iā€™m definitely impressed with his writing

  • Reema D'souza
    12 December 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Finding about the history of a place while reading it like a story is always an interesting thing! Interesting review!

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      13 December 2018 at 5:35 am

      Oh it is! Makes you wish they had taught history that way instead

  • Vinitha
    13 December 2018 at 10:52 am

    As always your review is intriguing. This book seems to be a good read to learn about the history of Australia. Since I have no knowledge on this subject I think this book would make a perfect read for me.
    Vinitha recently posted…Losing to Self-doubt #MondayMusingsMy Profile

  • 2018 Reading Challenges Wrap-Up - Sanch Writes
    19 December 2018 at 7:09 am

    […] By sea and stars by Trent Dalton (nonfiction) […]