The Postmistress – Alison Stuart

#book-review #book-reviewer


A stunning historical tale of loss, desire and courage that is full of the terror and the beauty of the Australian bush, for readers of The Thorn Birds, The Naturalist’s Daughter and The Widow of Ballarat.

To forge a new life she must first deal with her past…

1871. Adelaide Greaves and her young son have found sanctuary in the Australian town of Maiden’s Creek, where she works as a postmistress. The rough Victorian goldmining settlement is a hard place for a woman – especially as the other women in town don’t know what to make of her – but through force of will and sheer necessity, Adelaide carves out a role.

But her past is coming to find her, and the embittered and scarred Confederate soldier Caleb Hunt, in town in search of gold and not without a dark past of his own, might be the only one who can help. Can Adelaide trust him? Can she trust anyone?

When death and danger threaten – some from her past, some borne of the Australian bush – she must swallow her pride and turn to Caleb to join her in the fight, a fight she is determined to win…

My review

A mother’s love changes the path of a woman’s life forever. The Postmistress follows the heartwarming story of Adelaide Greaves, a strong female protagonist who leaves behind everything she knows, to be the best mother she can be. The relationship between mother and son, along with the love shared can be felt within the pages.

Alison Stuart sets the scene perfectly. It is 1871 and Adelaide is an independent widow, working as a postmistress in the Australian mining town of Maiden’s Creek. This is a beautifully written and well researched historical romance novel that takes the reader back in time, in my case, to a world unknown to me. Through the eyes of an unwed, pregnant woman we see the horrors that could be, yet fortunately the reader is taken on a trip with Adelaide to Australia, where she becomes an independent and successful woman, providing for her son.

The historical facts of the time, along with the Australian gold mining and medical practices in the late 1800s were fascinating, including the treatment of snake bites and society’s attitudes and advice towards smallpox. Alison Stuart weaves historical facts subtley throughout the story, which is testament to her talent in writing historical fiction. This allowed me to further delve into the world of the characters.

Prior to reading this novel, I was in the mood to sit down and feel true romance. The romance within The Postmistress delivered. Adelaide’s lost love caused her to grieve longer than her heart deserved. Upon meeting American born Caleb Hunt, Adelaide’s only love interest was Danny’s father. Caleb and Adelaide’s friendship grows, as does Danny and Caleb’s. Without a father growing up, Danny looks to Caleb for advice. The bond between them is strong. As Adelaide is forced to face the past there are many twists and turns within the novel.

I would highly recommend this novel and look forward to reading future novels written by Alison Stuart. The Postmistress is a novel that I could see inspiring an Australian TV series.


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