The Goldminer’s Sister by Alison Stuart

‘Out of the way, woman!’

June, 1873.  After travelling from England, Eliza Penrose has arrived in the goldmining town of Maiden’s Creek, Victoria.  She’s looking to start a new life with her brother, William, whom she’s not seen for five years.  But Will does not turn up to meet her, and when she arrives at her uncle Charles Cowper’s home, she discovers why.

Alec McLeod is a mining engineer who came from Scotland to try to escape the memory of his dead wife and child.  He’s determined to never fall in love again, despite the best efforts of the single women of Maiden’s Creek.

After their inauspicious first meeting, Alec and Eliza are thrown together.  There are dangerous work practices at the Maiden’s Creek Mine, and lives are endangered. There are secrets to be uncovered, and the closer Alec and Eliza get to the truth, the more care they need to take.

I really enjoyed this novel.  It is set two years later (and in the same town) as ‘The Postmistress’.  Ms Stuart brings her characters to life and doesn’t shy away from demonstrating the hardships of life on the goldfields, especially for women and children.  There’s action and romance, and a cast of well-developed minor characters as well.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Australia for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes. 

Jennifer Cameron-Smith