Review: Night Ride into Danger

Jackie French takes us on a journey through Australia’s infamous, yet exciting early history of 1874, that reveals how legends were made. The era is displayed through a rich and beautifully designed tapestry, woven from the stories the characters tell and share.

It’s a time when people disguise their identities for hidden reasons which are revealed like slow moving sand in an hour glass.

The Cobb and Co stage is preparing for the Braidwood to Goulburn night run with the mail. Young Jem Donavan rides on top with his father, as he has learnt the craft of handling five horses. He looks forward to taking control so his father can rest.

They pass the time telling and listening to stories to keep each other awake.

No one is prepared for the mystery that envelops each of the six travellers. Nor for the occurrences that take place along the familiar yet frequently changing roads.

A baby is born by the side of a bush track. Father and son are forced at gunpoint to obey a bushranger who is travelling incognito. Secrets are revealed about who each person on the stage really is and why they are so eager to reach their destinations.

When Jem’s dad is badly injured, Jem must take his place. Everyone rallies together to help and support Jem, whose life and future are measured by his ability to bring the coach in and on time.

Flooded roads, birds in flight, flocks of Emus, of course a wombat, and a dead horse, become part of the string of obstacles that Jem must overcome.

Can he make it through the night, with a coach and four to reach the train that must be caught?

French is a master storyteller. Through her characters’ actions and dialogue, the resilience and courage of men and women of those early years is illuminated.

Another fabulous read!

Title: Night Ride into Danger
Author: Jackie French
Publisher: Harper Collins, $ 16.99
Publication Date: 5 May 2021
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781460758939
For ages: 10+
Type: Historical Fiction

May 5, 2021 at 01:33AM Anastasia Gonis