I never stay up reading.
I love books and I enjoy reading, but staying up beyond my bed-time? No, that’s not me.
I remember when I was reading the fifth Harry Potter, I had one chapter left to finish and I went to sleep, to the horror of some of my friends. Maybe that was because I wanted to hold on to my fictional friends a little longer.
The characters grew and changed.
The story was layered with unselfconscious girlish giggling and the singularly quirky humour.
I experienced each of the class struggles and felt the starkness of life in Ireland and Australia.
It is difficult to create a character like Esty. In some ways, she is a shadow of Scarlett from Gone with the Wind. Yet, she is nothing like Scarlett.
But like Scarlett, Esty makes you admire her.
Historical fiction so often creates a perfectly-woven fabric of truth and reality. It forms the perfect, believable canvas, where real, human quests take place.
Hope, courage and family against the backdrop of social and political stupidity. In Esty’s Gold, that is the making of the grand and moving novel.