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Unbound Justice: Australian Historical Fiction Novel

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John Leary boards ship in Ireland in 1850, a young carpenter ambitious for a new life in Australia. He sails with revenge in his heart—his beloved sister has been raped by her landlord, William Baxterhouse, who escapes on another ship with even grander plans for success in New South Wales. In Sydney, hard workers like Leary and ruthless newcomers like Baxterhouse find a ci John Leary boards ship in Ireland in 1850, a young carpenter ambitious for a new life in Australia. He sails with revenge in his heart—his beloved sister has been raped by her landlord, William Baxterhouse, who escapes on another ship with even grander plans for success in New South Wales. In Sydney, hard workers like Leary and ruthless newcomers like Baxterhouse find a city fired by the Gold Rush and dedicated to creating the finest buildings in the colony. Leary has a double motive to make his construction company succeed: he has fallen in love with the beautiful Clarissa McGuire, whose family despise him, and Baxterhouse continues to rise in wealth and influence, seemingly untouchable. Meanwhile another woman, Beth O’Hare, is in love with John Leary, and he makes some hard choices—including a climactic showdown with Baxterhouse.This is the first novel in The Sandstone Trilogy: a new, magnificent view of nineteenth-century Sydney from the ground up.Three novels, Unbound Justice, Unshackled and Succession, span 37 years of Sydney life in the second half of the nineteenth century. They follow the fortunes of 20-year-old John Leary, who in 1850 leaves his rural home in Ireland and sails as an assisted immigrant to New South Wales.His trade is carpentry but his ambition is boundless. By hard work, talent and opportunism he manages to create his own construction company, never ceasing the struggle to become the biggest and the best. The building industry becomes a metaphor for his chosen city, with its mixture of squalor and grandeur, of corruption and high ideals.The Sandstone Trilogy is a historical drama with a rich cast of compelling characters. It is also a family saga, in which love, revenge and tragedy all come to influence the Learys’ destiny.‘Well-written and thoroughly enjoyable. It’s a love story with a vivid background of those early days of European settlement—and all the drinking, hard work, treachery and jostling for position that was mandatory in those times. You warm to the characters as they make their way in this new land. More of it!’Wendy O’Hanlon Australian Provincial Newspapers


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John Leary boards ship in Ireland in 1850, a young carpenter ambitious for a new life in Australia. He sails with revenge in his heart—his beloved sister has been raped by her landlord, William Baxterhouse, who escapes on another ship with even grander plans for success in New South Wales. In Sydney, hard workers like Leary and ruthless newcomers like Baxterhouse find a ci John Leary boards ship in Ireland in 1850, a young carpenter ambitious for a new life in Australia. He sails with revenge in his heart—his beloved sister has been raped by her landlord, William Baxterhouse, who escapes on another ship with even grander plans for success in New South Wales. In Sydney, hard workers like Leary and ruthless newcomers like Baxterhouse find a city fired by the Gold Rush and dedicated to creating the finest buildings in the colony. Leary has a double motive to make his construction company succeed: he has fallen in love with the beautiful Clarissa McGuire, whose family despise him, and Baxterhouse continues to rise in wealth and influence, seemingly untouchable. Meanwhile another woman, Beth O’Hare, is in love with John Leary, and he makes some hard choices—including a climactic showdown with Baxterhouse.This is the first novel in The Sandstone Trilogy: a new, magnificent view of nineteenth-century Sydney from the ground up.Three novels, Unbound Justice, Unshackled and Succession, span 37 years of Sydney life in the second half of the nineteenth century. They follow the fortunes of 20-year-old John Leary, who in 1850 leaves his rural home in Ireland and sails as an assisted immigrant to New South Wales.His trade is carpentry but his ambition is boundless. By hard work, talent and opportunism he manages to create his own construction company, never ceasing the struggle to become the biggest and the best. The building industry becomes a metaphor for his chosen city, with its mixture of squalor and grandeur, of corruption and high ideals.The Sandstone Trilogy is a historical drama with a rich cast of compelling characters. It is also a family saga, in which love, revenge and tragedy all come to influence the Learys’ destiny.‘Well-written and thoroughly enjoyable. It’s a love story with a vivid background of those early days of European settlement—and all the drinking, hard work, treachery and jostling for position that was mandatory in those times. You warm to the characters as they make their way in this new land. More of it!’Wendy O’Hanlon Australian Provincial Newspapers

30 review for Unbound Justice: Australian Historical Fiction Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jülie ☼♄ 

    Many thanks to the author Michael Beashel for gifting me a signed copy of this book. Australian historical fiction is at the top of my list of favourite reads, so I was happy to receive this 1st book in a trilogy from the author and excited at the chance to read my favourite genre. The story evolves around a young Irish carpenter from Dublin who wants to take a huge chance on a future in Australia, where he is told his carpentry skills are in much demand. It is 1850 and although his family is more Many thanks to the author Michael Beashel for gifting me a signed copy of this book. Australian historical fiction is at the top of my list of favourite reads, so I was happy to receive this 1st book in a trilogy from the author and excited at the chance to read my favourite genre. The story evolves around a young Irish carpenter from Dublin who wants to take a huge chance on a future in Australia, where he is told his carpentry skills are in much demand. It is 1850 and although his family is more fortunate than most in that they own their own land and livestock, and are not directly affected by the potato blight, young John Leary needs to leave his home and make the long journey to Australia if he is to realize his dream of one day owning his own building business. Although comfortable as far as assets and real estate goes, his family don't have much in the way of ready cash and John has to find ways to fend for himself as his father will not sell any of his land to finance John's ambitions. Fortunately he is able to secure an assisted passage ticket to sail towards his dream future in New South Wales. John makes an overnight stop off in Dublin to say goodbye to his estranged sister before departing. It is only after he arrives there that he finds his sister has been recently badly assaulted and violated by her landlord and has been admitted to hospital. John vows to take revenge but his ship sails in less than 24 hours, leaving him little time to find the mans' whereabouts. Through a series of brief investigations and chance meetings, John discovered that his sister's attacker had possibly absconded on a Navy ship, to which destination he was uncertain but in all likelihood to Australia. With his own ship about to leave, John has no choice but to embark with his head reeling at the thought that his prey might be travelling to Sydney also. What if they were to meet in Sydney, he has to figure out a plan.... Romance and mischief are afoot in the following chapters, and I was intrigued at the turn of every page. I really enjoyed this read with its focus on building and carpentry as this is John Leary's trade and a lot of the details of carpentry were examined and explained. This was surprisingly interesting, especially for me as my own father was a carpenter in the days before power tools were the norm and everything was done manually. I used to sit and watch him work in total fascination and am still transported back in time at the aroma of freshly shaved or hewn wood. I have already ordered the second book in this trilogy, Unshackled, on the strength of this one and am looking forward to following on from the first. I did have a problem from time to time with confusion as to who was actually speaking because sometimes the first name would be used to address someone and sometimes their second name would be used. Also a lot of the male characters have names beginning with J, which though trivial, got a bit confusing. All in all though, it was a very entertaining and compelling read. I gave this book 4*s

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer (JC-S)

    ‘My future is out there and I’m going to make it.’ 1850, Ireland. John Leary is a young carpenter bound for New South Wales, with the help of an assisted passage. He’s told that his skills are very much in demand in the colony, and he’s ambitious to make a new life for himself. On his way, he spends the night in Dublin and finds that his beloved sister has been seriously assaulted by her landlord, William Baxterhouse. John has no time to hunt Baxterhouse down: his ship sails in less than 24 hours ‘My future is out there and I’m going to make it.’ 1850, Ireland. John Leary is a young carpenter bound for New South Wales, with the help of an assisted passage. He’s told that his skills are very much in demand in the colony, and he’s ambitious to make a new life for himself. On his way, he spends the night in Dublin and finds that his beloved sister has been seriously assaulted by her landlord, William Baxterhouse. John has no time to hunt Baxterhouse down: his ship sails in less than 24 hours. William Baxterhouse also sets sail for New South Wales on a different ship. John Leary wants to succeed in New South Wales, but when he discovers Baxterhouse is also in Sydney, he wants revenge. John meets Clarissa McGuire on the voyage to Sydney and falls in love with her. Her family has money, position and property and initially opposes any possibility of a relationship. But John, through hard work and good luck, manages to establish himself as a builder. This novel is the first in a trilogy, and as soon as I finished it, I moved onto the second book. I confess that I didn’t much care for John Leary and some of his actions, but I was fascinated by the bustling Sydney depicted in Mr Beashel’s novel. I’ve finished the trilogy now and will write reviews of the other two books shortly. Is it worth reading? Yes, but initially (at least) more for the setting than the characters. And yet, now that I’ve finished, several the characters have stayed with me. If you are interested in the building of Sydney, of its development and expansion during the nineteenth century, you may enjoy this novel as much as I did. Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    A Great Story of Australia "Unbound Justice" takes place during the gold rushes at Bathurst and Ballarat, which help drive the action and create opportunities for the characters. The story revolves primarily around Irish immigrants making their fortunes in Sydney through trade and building. The main characters, who are all well rounded and believable, come with baggage from Dublin that colors their actions in their new home. These are complex characters who captured my imagination and earned my s A Great Story of Australia "Unbound Justice" takes place during the gold rushes at Bathurst and Ballarat, which help drive the action and create opportunities for the characters. The story revolves primarily around Irish immigrants making their fortunes in Sydney through trade and building. The main characters, who are all well rounded and believable, come with baggage from Dublin that colors their actions in their new home. These are complex characters who captured my imagination and earned my sympathy. Before the book ended, I was thoroughly invested in their stories. The only quibble I had with the characters was that so many of them have similar names that it sometimes took a few sentences to figure out who the author was talking about. The main protagonist, John Leary, is a carpenter, so a lot of the action takes place in the context of growing the fledgling city, which I found fascinating. I'm eagerly looking forward to finishing the three-book series.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Frank

    This book is about an Irisman, John Leary, who leaves Ireland to seek his fortune in Austraila in 1850. When he gets there he discovers the man who raped his sister back in Ireland. While he acheives some succ ess, he cannot forget the injustice of the man who raped his sister and was nver punished. This will drive him to seek some sort of justice for his sister and almost derail his sucess plans. He is torn between 2 women who both care for him and as the story ends he marries one of the ladies This book is about an Irisman, John Leary, who leaves Ireland to seek his fortune in Austraila in 1850. When he gets there he discovers the man who raped his sister back in Ireland. While he acheives some succ ess, he cannot forget the injustice of the man who raped his sister and was nver punished. This will drive him to seek some sort of justice for his sister and almost derail his sucess plans. He is torn between 2 women who both care for him and as the story ends he marries one of the ladies and realizes his dream of having his own building company. Its a fairly well written story that will hold your interest if you are a fan of historical stories with a love theme.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Zelmer

    Worth reading Great characters. A really bad bad guy who got away. Looking forward to volume 2. Plot is intriguing enough to keep one reading

  6. 5 out of 5

    paul bass

  7. 4 out of 5

    martin kiff

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jean Smith

  10. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Kelly

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vivien Gunston

  12. 4 out of 5

    Keith Powell

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

  14. 4 out of 5

    Casey Masterson

  15. 5 out of 5

    mary Bartley

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rose Orr

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dee Johnston

  18. 4 out of 5

    Peter J

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Tolbert

  20. 4 out of 5

    ann hartung

  21. 5 out of 5

    Donna Ahern

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine Marion

  23. 5 out of 5

    sean hartney

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jill Kassanits

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jim Bean

  26. 5 out of 5

    marylouise howatt

  27. 5 out of 5

    Connie Peters

  28. 4 out of 5

    John Kerr

  29. 5 out of 5

    Susan Taylor

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dora Leal

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