Tuesday 16 March 2021

Dangerous Women by Hope Adams Blog Tour

 I say this often, but over the years my taste in book has changed quite drastically.

I never use to enjoy historical fiction, however as I've got older I have come to enjoy this genre a lot more. Especially when the books are based around true events. It makes me eager to find out more after finishing the book.

One such book that had me keen to explore further was Dangerous Women by Hope Adams, and now it is my turn on the blog tour to tell you my thoughts on this atmospheric debut.

London, 1841.

The Rajah sails for Australia.

On board are 180 women convicted of petty crimes.

Daughters, sisters, mothers - they'll never see home or family again. Despised and damned, they have only one another.

Until the murder.

As the fearful hunt for a killer begins, everyone on board is a suspect . . .

I liked this story from the get go, being about women it felt as though it had a certain power behind it.

This is a book that blends history with fiction, bringing us a moving and thought provoking tale of love, betrayal and danger.

Set in 1841, we follow the fates of 180+ convicted women who are being transported on the boat, Rajah, from their jail cells in England to Van Diemen’s Land, which is present day Tasmania, in the hopes of beginning new lives. 

These were women, who had all been convicted of petty crimes, not ones that would have been deemed worthy of capital punishment.

The Rajah was like an insect perched on the back of an enormous, constantly turning creature that lived and breathed as they did.

We follow their 15 week journey through four points of view, we get transported back in time, seeing the events that took place through their eyes. 

One of those accounts was from Kezia Hayter, a young woman who volunteers to be a matron on the ship for free passage. She had a vision to create The Rajah Quilt with the help of 18 of the women aboard the ship.

But that isn't all that happens ....


Although fictional, this story is based on true events. 

There are plenty of secrets being kept as they sail.

We get to see the 'then and now', before and after the murder. The mystery of who killed one of those women is a  prominent feature of this tale, as is the friendships and love interests that were being formed as they moved towards their new lives.

"Well, everyone's got something, haven't they? Something bad they're going away from."

This felt real, the details the emotions. I was invested in these women.

They didn't have an easy time, it was a daily struggle for them to stay alive, to be positive, to find happiness amongst the miserable, cramped conditions of The Rajah.

I admire their determination.

My favourite part of this book was the descriptions at the beginning of each chapter of the patchwork squares that the women were sewing as they sailed. I would have loved to have seen a picture of the finished quilt at the end of the tale. I did however have beautiful visions in my mind (and I've now looked it up online).

In a world dominated by men it was inspiring to read about these independent women. 

Dangerous Women as a title seems quite apt. Not because of the murder that occurs but because of the intelligence that these women displayed in the most tragic and traumatic circumstances.

"I've seen stupidity, poverty, madness, malice and the terrible effects of jealousy, but pure evil? I haven't seen that."

This is a novel that has been superbly researched, shown by the facts and sources shared at the end of the book.

It is an original and compassionate tale.

Hope Adams is an author that I will be following with great intrigue. With this being her first novel, I'm expecting to see great things from her in the future.

For more thoughts and reviews please do follow the rest of the tour outlined below:


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