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The Exiles: A Novel
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HarperCollins 2020
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Description

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

OPTIONED FOR TELEVISION BY BRUNA PAPANDREA, THE PRODUCER OF HBO'S BIG LITTLE LIES

"A tour de force of original thought, imagination and promise ... Kline takes full advantage of fiction — its freedom to create compelling characters who fully illuminate monumental events to make history accessible and forever etched in our minds." — Houston Chronicle

The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant novel about three women whose lives are bound together in nineteenth-century Australia and the hardships they weather together as they fight for redemption and freedom in a new society.

Seduced by her employer's son, Evangeline, a naïve young governess in early nineteenth-century London, is discharged when her pregnancy is discovered and sent to the notorious Newgate Prison. After months in the fetid, overcrowded jail, she learns she is sentenced to "the land beyond the seas," Van Diemen's Land, a penal colony in Australia. Though uncertain of what awaits, Evangeline knows one thing: the child she carries will be born on the months-long voyage to this distant land.

During the journey on a repurposed slave ship, the Medea, Evangeline strikes up a friendship with Hazel, a girl little older than her former pupils who was sentenced to seven years transport for stealing a silver spoon. Canny where Evangeline is guileless, Hazel—a skilled midwife and herbalist—is soon offering home remedies to both prisoners and sailors in return for a variety of favors.

Though Australia has been home to Aboriginal people for more than 50,000 years, the British government in the 1840s considers its fledgling colony uninhabited and unsettled, and views the natives as an unpleasant nuisance. By the time the Medea arrives, many of them have been forcibly relocated, their land seized by white colonists. One of these relocated people is Mathinna, the orphaned daughter of the Chief of the Lowreenne tribe, who has been adopted by the new governor of Van Diemen's Land.

In this gorgeous novel, Christina Baker Kline brilliantly recreates the beginnings of a new society in a beautiful and challenging land, telling the story of Australia from a fresh perspective, through the experiences of Evangeline, Hazel, and Mathinna. While life in Australia is punishing and often brutally unfair, it is also, for some, an opportunity: for redemption, for a new way of life, for unimagined freedom. Told in exquisite detail and incisive prose, The Exiles is a story of grace born from hardship, the unbreakable bonds of female friendships, and the unfettering of legacy.


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Street Date:
08/25/2020
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062356352
ASIN:
B082T2JLLL
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APA Citation (style guide)

Christina Baker Kline. (2020). The Exiles: A Novel. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Christina Baker Kline. 2020. The Exiles: A Novel. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Christina Baker Kline, The Exiles: A Novel. HarperCollins, 2020.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Christina Baker Kline. The Exiles: A Novel. HarperCollins, 2020.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Christina Baker Kline is the author of six novels, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Orphan Train as well as A Piece of the World. She lives outside New York City and spends as much time as possible on the coast of Maine. Learn more about Christina at www.christinabakerkline.com.

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fullDescription

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

OPTIONED FOR TELEVISION BY BRUNA PAPANDREA, THE PRODUCER OF HBO'S BIG LITTLE LIES

"A tour de force of original thought, imagination and promise ... Kline takes full advantage of fiction — its freedom to create compelling characters who fully illuminate monumental events to make history accessible and forever etched in our minds." — Houston Chronicle

The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant novel about three women whose lives are bound together in nineteenth-century Australia and the hardships they weather together as they fight for redemption and freedom in a new society.

Seduced by her employer's son, Evangeline, a naïve young governess in early nineteenth-century London, is discharged when her pregnancy is discovered and sent to the notorious Newgate Prison. After months in the fetid, overcrowded jail, she learns she is sentenced to "the land beyond the seas," Van Diemen's Land, a penal colony in Australia. Though uncertain of what awaits, Evangeline knows one thing: the child she carries will be born on the months-long voyage to this distant land.

During the journey on a repurposed slave ship, the Medea, Evangeline strikes up a friendship with Hazel, a girl little older than her former pupils who was sentenced to seven years transport for stealing a silver spoon. Canny where Evangeline is guileless, Hazel—a skilled midwife and herbalist—is soon offering home remedies to both prisoners and sailors in return for a variety of favors.

Though Australia has been home to Aboriginal people for more than 50,000 years, the British government in the 1840s considers its fledgling colony uninhabited and unsettled, and views the natives as an unpleasant nuisance. By the time the Medea arrives, many of them have been forcibly relocated, their land seized by white colonists. One of these relocated people is Mathinna, the orphaned daughter of the Chief of the Lowreenne tribe, who has been adopted by the new governor of Van Diemen's Land.

In this gorgeous novel, Christina Baker Kline brilliantly recreates the beginnings of a new society in a beautiful and challenging land, telling the story of Australia from a fresh perspective, through the experiences of Evangeline, Hazel, and Mathinna. While life in Australia is punishing and often brutally unfair, it is also, for some, an opportunity: for redemption, for a new way of life, for unimagined freedom. Told in exquisite detail and incisive prose, The Exiles is a story of grace born from hardship, the unbreakable bonds of female friendships, and the unfettering of legacy.


reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Houston Chronicle
      • content:

        "A tour de force of original thought, imagination and promise ... Kline takes full advantage of fiction—its freedom to create compelling characters who fully illuminate monumental events to make history accessible and forever etched in our minds." — Houston Chronicle

        "Monumental...This episode in history gets a top-notch treatment by Kline, one of our foremost historical novelists. This fascinating 19th-century take on Orange Is the New Black is subtle, intelligent, and thrillingly melodramatic." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

        "Both uplifting and heartbreaking, this beautifully written novel doesn't flinch from the ugliness of the penal system but celebrates the courage and resilience of both the first peoples and the settlers who came after, voluntarily or not, to create a new home for themselves and their children." — Library Journal (starred review)

        "Gripping...Filled with surprising twists, empathetic prose, and revealing historical details, Kline's resonant, powerful story will please any historical fiction fan." — Publishers Weekly

        "Kline deftly balances tragedy and pathos, making happy endings hard-earned and satisfying...Book groups will find much to discuss, such as the uses of education, both formal and informal, in this moving work." — Booklist

        "Master storyteller Christina Baker Kline is at her best in this epic yet intimate tale of nineteenth-century Australia. I loved this book." — Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Love and Ruin

        "Celebrating the bonds between women, the novel explores how lives that seem destined for pain might persevere." — Real Simple

        "Intelligent and satisfyingly dramatic." — Newsday

        "The story-telling in The Exiles is triumphant...The women's struggles are filled with adversity and grief. But the novel also reveals moments of love, courage and bravery and resilience." — Portland Press Herald

        "[Kline's] research, coupled with her knack for telling a compelling story, coalesce in a riveting tale that will keep readers breathlessly hurtling toward the heart-rending conclusion." — Bookreporter

        "The author's ability to weave fact with fiction, tragedy with moments of hope, and the everyday with the universal will leave you immersed, wanting more. You'll open this novel because of history, read on because of story, and close it knowing more about your own life, right here, right now." — New York Journal of Books

        "The Exiles is that rarest of novels, a true page-turner. The action moves along; the reader feels himself to be in the hands of a professional." — Alabama Public Radio

        "Well-researched and boldly imagined." — Sydney Morning Herald

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        July 1, 2020
        In 1840, Mathinna, the orphaned daughter of an Aboriginal chief, is adopted by the governor's wife in Hobart City in what is now Tasmania. Though the story revisits Mathinna, the focus shifts to England, where Evangeline Stokes has been wrongfully accused of theft and sentenced to transport. Her long, harsh trip is complicated by her pregnancy, though it is lightened somewhat by friendship with brash, also-pregnant Olive; Hazel, who has midwifery skills; and the sympathetic ship's surgeon. Then tragedy strikes, and by the time they arrive at the prison, Hazel is posing as the mother of Ruby, Evangeline's daughter. As in Orphan Train (2013), Kline deftly balances tragedy and pathos, making happy endings hard-earned and satisfying. Mathinna does not fare so well here, nor did her real-life counterpart, but the fact that even her sad, untimely ending does not receive the imaginative treatment of the other characters' stories makes her inclusion confusing, if not cruel. Still, book groups will find much to discuss, such as the uses of education, both formal and informal, in this moving work of historical women's fiction.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 20, 2020
        In the gripping latest from Kline (Orphan Train), three women try to carve out lives in mid-19th-century colonial Australia. Aborigine Matthina is eight years old when she’s seen by the wife of the governor of an English settlement on a visit to her home island, Wybalenna. After learning Matthina can speak English, the woman decides to take her back to Flinders in southern Australia as a curiosity and an experiment in forced civilization. Meanwhile, in London, Evangeline is the orphaned daughter of a vicar working as a governess to the children of a wealthy family. But after Evangeline is seduced by the family’s eldest son and her secret pregnancy is discovered, she is arrested, held in Newgate prison, and sentenced to transport to the penal colonies of Australia. She shares the voyage to her new life with Hazel, the hardscrabble daughter of a midwife who turns her knowledge of medicine into an asset aboard the ship. The narratives converge when their ship docks in Van Diemen’s Land (modern-day Tasmania), where Matthina, who has been adopted by the island’s governor, now lives. The women, all brought to their new lives against their wills, become a lens through which to see the development of colonial Australia. Filled with surprising twists, empathetic prose, and revealing historical details, Kline’s resonant, powerful story will please any historical fiction fan.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 1, 2020
        A London governess and a Scottish midwife's neglected daughter are sent to a penal colony in Australia, where an Aboriginal girl is in another sort of captivity. Kline's monumental eighth novel opens in 1840 on Flinders Island, Australia, where an 8-year-old orphan named Mathinna is whisked away from her tribe at the whimsy of visiting dignitary Lady Franklin, who fancies training one of the "savages." A necklace of shells made by her mother and a pet possum named Waluka are all Mathinna can take from the life she knew. Across the ocean, 21-year-old Evangeline, also recently orphaned, is fired from her job in London and sent to Newgate Prison when a family treasure is found in her room--and this is not the only problematic gift she has received from the family's eldest son, now conveniently traveling in Venice. Meanwhile, in Glasgow, half-starved 16-year-old urchin Hazel Ferguson is caught stealing a silver spoon. Evangeline and Hazel become acquainted on the Medea, a former slaving ship bound for the prison colony where the now obviously pregnant Evangeline is to serve a sentence of 14 years. Kline takes her time with this epic story, creating each of her nightmarish and uniquely malodorous settings in detail, from the harrowing months at sea with the randy and violent sailors to the strange new world that awaits Evangeline and Hazel in the convict colony. Once back on land, the narrative loops in poor lonely Mathinna, whose life now consists mainly of being dragged out at tea parties to be pawed and humiliated, then clicks into high gear when Hazel gets a work-release assignment as a maid in Lady Franklin's household. This episode in history gets a top-notch treatment by Kline, one of our foremost historical novelists. This fascinating 19th-century take on Orange Is the New Black is subtle, intelligent, and thrillingly melodramatic.

        COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        July 17, 2020

        Employed by a London family as governess, Evangeline is seduced by the young master of the house. When she is found to be in the family way and fired from her position, in a moment of rage she shoves the maid who revealed her secret and is thrown into prison. She is found guilty of attempted murder and soon on her way to Australia aboard a convict ship. Dreadful conditions, worse food, and predatory sailors make the voyage a living hell for the female convicts, but Evangeline makes a friend in herbalist and midwife Hazel. Not all survive the months-long voyage, but those who do discover that Australia may just provide the sanctuary they need if they have the strength to claim it. Although men are credited for "discovering" and "taming" Australia, they play a very small role in this 19th-century-set novel from Kline (A Piece of the World), which tells of the women's stories--not only that of the convicts, but also those who came freely, and, most important, those who were there first--the Aboriginal people. VERDICT Both uplifting and heartbreaking, this beautifully written novel doesn't flinch from the ugliness of the penal system but celebrates the courage and resilience of both the first peoples and the settlers who came after, voluntarily or not, to create a new home for themselves and their children. [See Prepub Alert, 2/24/20.]--Jane Henriksen Baird, formerly at Anchorage P.L., AK

        Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

OPTIONED FOR TELEVISION BY BRUNA PAPANDREA, THE PRODUCER OF HBO'S BIG LITTLE LIES

"A tour de force of original thought, imagination and promise ... Kline takes full advantage of fiction — its freedom to create compelling characters who fully illuminate monumental events to make history accessible and forever etched in our minds." — Houston Chronicle

The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant novel about three women whose lives are bound together in nineteenth-century Australia and the hardships they weather together as they fight for redemption and freedom in a new society.

Seduced by her employer's son, Evangeline, a naïve young governess in early nineteenth-century London, is discharged when her pregnancy is discovered and sent to the notorious Newgate Prison. After...

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