A novel based on the burning of the Boyd in 1809 when a clash with Maori seeking revenge - utu - resulted in one of the most famous fires in maritime history. For years the world's sailing ships stopped visiting New Zealand's Bay of Islands and surrounding ports, such was the fear engendered. One woman survived and witnessed the horrors. Ann, a young English woman, has been sent out to the horrors of Sydney's penal colonies. Her crime: stealing a piece of linen. How she eventually escapes the horrors of this convict-world and gets caught up in a new and terrifying chapter in New Zealand's history is the backbone of the narrative, but it is Ann's very special character that makes this a book hard to put down and to forget.
Social historian Terri Kessell
has a special interest in the early contact period of Maori and European in the late 18th early 19th century.