The Goldminer’s Sister – Alison Stuart

Gold is a fever. Will it lead her to love … or death? A suspenseful romance set on the turbulent goldfields of 1870s Australia, for readers of The Postmistress and The Woman in the Green Dress.

‘There are people in this town with the gleam of gold in their eyes and cold steel in their hearts.’

1873. Eliza Penrose arrives in the gold mining town of Maiden’s Creek in search of her brother, planning to make a new life for herself. Instead she finds a tragic mystery – and hints of betrayals by those closest to her.

Mining engineer Alec McLeod left Scotland to escape the memory of his dead wife and child. Despite the best efforts of the eligible ladies of Maiden’s Creek, Alec is determined never to give his heart again.

As lies and deceit threaten Eliza’s life, Alec steps in – although he has problems of his own, as he risks his livelihood and those he holds dear to oppose the dangerous work practices at the Maiden’s Creek Mine.

When disaster draws the pieces of the puzzle together, Eliza and Alec must save each other – but is it too late?

My review

Thank you Harper Collins for sending me a copy of The Goldminer’s Sister, Alison Stuart in exchange for my honest review. 

The Goldminer’s Sister is a story of tragedy, grief, lies, loss and love. Eliza arrives in the town of Maiden’s Creek expecting to meet her brother. Instead she is met with the tragic news of his death. Eliza is a smart woman who has been dealt with too much loss  in her life. She is welcomed into her Uncle’s home and he attempts to find her a position as a teacher  in London. His rush to send her away, has Eliza asking questions, in particular, surrounding her brother’s estate and death. Eliza ends up finding a position in the local school. Her attempt to be self sufficient in life is admirable, especially considering the time. She is a wonderful teacher who cares for the children she teaches and is a true advocate for ‘education for all’.

Eliza stays in the town to feel closer to Will and to investigate further into what happened to him. Will had always wanted to look after his sister financially. For Will to leave the mine and almost everything to his Uncle seems unlikely. Eliza starts to question whether or not her brother’s death was an accident or whether he was in fact murdered. There are some nasty folk in this town!

The townspeople are interesting. Eliza meets Alec upon her arrival and their meeting is anything other than favourable. In time, Alec and Eliza try to help each other. I love Alison Stuart’s development of both Alec and Eliza. Alec’s backstory is very sad and yet he is a very likable character. Together they find their way. Eliza’s personality, as a strong and independent woman makes her a perfect protagonist.

What I particularly loved about this historical fiction was that the history and mining industry were a huge part of the story, yet were dealt with in terms that I could understand and easily feel a part of. The suspense and mystery had me hooked and I didn’t want to put the book down. The romance was an added bonus, but if you want to read a good mystery, I highly recommend this story. The Goldminer’s Sister is a gripping tale that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is a fantastic Australian historical mystery novel and I look forward to Alison Stuart’s next novel.

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