Book Review: The Tin Ticket – The Heroic Journey of Australia’s Convict Women, by Deborah J. Swiss


This is going to be a book review with a difference, though not entirely different for At the BookShelf. In times past I have passed on my thoughts concerning a book chapter by chapter, which is what I plan to do with The Tin Ticket. Why? Well I’m not going to be reading all of the book at the same time. I’ll be breaking it up by reading other books as well, so it will be difficult for me to keep my thoughts together and provide a coherent review at the end of the book, whenever it may be that I actually finish it. So I’ll be posting instalments of my varied thoughts as I go along.

I came across this book in the most unlikely of places really, for I found the book in a Killer Whale Museum in Eden, on the New South Wales south coast, in Australia. I wasn’t expecting to come across a small, but healthy Australian history bookshop there. I didn’t even intend to buy myself a copy of this book, though I did intend to buy it for my mother as a birthday gift when I spotted it. I have since found it to be far cheaper at Amazon and you will find it via the link at the bottom of the post. Anyhow, I packed the book away after the holiday to the south coast (about 4 weeks ago now) in preparation to pass it on to my mother when I saw her next.

A couple of days ago I was speaking to my mother on the phone and the subject of her birthday gift was raised, in a roundabout way. I like to make her guess what the gift might be by dropping clues that I know will result in her having no idea, but leave her intrigued at the end of the conversation. The somewhat cryptic clues all resolved around a tin ticket, so the gift being a book I’m sure was never arrived at. She is keen to know what the gift is now though. Sons that like to tease their mothers, how cruel children can be 🙂

The conversation got me to thinking though – I would like to read the book myself, but without pre-using the gift I had bought my mother. So I thought about an ebook version that I could get for my Kindle and went online to check out the Kindle bookshop at Amazon. Sure enough, there it was – so I bought myself a copy. It wasn’t just that I had purchased a traditional version for my mother and wanted to read what I was giving her. I am something of a student of history, especially Australian history, so once the book had passed my eye back in Eden it was really only a matter of time before I got myself a copy – I did almost buy two copies in Eden, but stopped myself because I prefer digital books over traditional books these days – book space is an issue at my place as I have hundreds and hundreds of them all over the place in bookcases.

Though reading a number of other books at the moment, I couldn’t resist having a look at The Tin Ticket any longer, so last night I started to read it. I did cut myself off having read just the acknowledgements and the introduction. That was quite a feat of self discipline let me tell you.

The introduction is a pretty good read and a great way for the book to open I thought. It really has me keen to find out more about these convict women who were treated so poorly by an English justice system that was so quick to have petty criminals shipped off to the colonies in Australia. So my interest has been aroused by the author’s own awakening interest in the women convicts of Australia as described in the introduction. Just enough of a glimpse is given in the introduction to whet the appetite and tease my natural curiosity.

However, I must wait to read more until I complete at least two of the other four books I’m currently reading – which shouldn’t be too much longer. Certainly no longer than a week. Surely I can last a week before reading more? I guess time will tell.

Buy this book at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0043RSIWI/

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