The government assisted-passage scheme designed to meet the needs of Australians for domestic help seemed heaven sent to Lily, an excellent way to leave her past behind. And Lily wasn’t the only one trying to escape the past. Her shipboard friends, Americans Eliza and Max; gentle, sweet Edward; Maria, a troubled Jewish refugee; and loud, boring, fascist, George, also had reasons to run and hide. This is a beautifully written novel. I was totally drawn in from the opening chapter, a scene from the end of the voyage. It is 1939, Sidney, Australia. A striking figure dressed in a fashionable green velvet suit, with a slim skirt, green leather shoes, fir stole, green hat with a veil covering the face, is being led down the gangplank, shackled, escorted by two policemen. And so, we know that a crime will be committed on the voyage. All through the book I was examining the characters, looking for motives, trying to figure it out. The descriptions of life aboard ship, the rooms, food, entertainment, separation of classes, were vivid and were so unlike a modern cruise ship. I was totally drawn into the scene, saw and felt what the characters saw and felt and could not put the book down. I highly recommend this book.
eGalley review Publication date 1.9.18