Four Feisty Females Bound for Botany Bay

behind-the-sunBlending the epic storytelling tradition of Bryce Courtney with the meticulous accuracy of Philippa Gregory … award-winning historian and bestselling novelist, Deborah Challinor delivers a convict story like no other – four feisty females bound for Botany Bay.

Behind the Sun turns the convict story on its head. Through the eyes of four fiercely feisty young women who guard their secrets and dreams as closely as their money and trinkets from home, Deborah Challinor explores the gritty, raucous, bittersweet life of female criminals bound for Botany Bay.

The four unlikely friends must join forces and overcome the perils on the journey of their lives, safeguarding everything they hold dear to them. Tough and irreverent street prostitute Friday Woolfe and the clever thief Sarah Morgan team with naïve young Rachel Winter and the highly capable seamstress Harriet Clark.

On the voyage to New South Wales their friendship becomes an unbreakable bond — but there are others on board who will change their lives forever. Friday makes an implacable enemy of Bella Jackson, a vicious woman whose power seems undiminished by her arrest and transportation, while Harriet is taken under the wing of an idealistic doctor, James Downey. Rachel catches the eye of a sinister passenger whose brutal assault leaves her life hanging in the balance.

When they finally arrive on the other side of the world, they are confined to the grim and overcrowded Parramatta Female Factory. But worse is to come as the threat of separation looms. In the land behind the sun, the only thing they have is each other.


Deborah Challinor is the author of several bestselling novels including the widely praised Band of Gold. She is also an historian and has written a number of non-fiction titles.

Her compelling research for ‘Behind the Sun’, particularly the infamous Parramatta Female Factory  reveals much about the shocking conditions there and the extraordinary fact that  20% of Australians are descended from the women who went through those Factory gates. Her ancestors including a First Fleet sailor and a long line of convicts were part of the inspiration for this brilliant new series.

‘Thanks for rattling your chains ladies and gentlemen, both supernatural and the ones the law put on you.’ pg 448

Deb and her husband have recently moved to Newcastle.

Published by

Clayton Wehner

Clayton is the founder and managing director of Boomerang Books. In a past life, Clayton worked for 12 years as an intelligence officer in the Australian Army and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Royal Military College Duntroon and holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science and a Master of Management Studies (Human Resource Management) from the UNSW. He is also a trained Indonesian linguist and served with the United Nations in East Timor as an interpreter/translator.