Wednesday, March 6, 2024

The Low Road by Katharine Quarmby

The Low Road

by Katharine Quarmby

In 1828, two young women were torn apart as they were sentenced to transportation to Botany Bay. Will they ever meet again?

Norfolk, 1813. In the quiet Waveney Valley, the body of a woman – Mary Tyrell – is staked through the heart after her death by suicide. She had been under arrest for the suspected murder of her newborn child. Mary leaves behind a young daughter, Hannah, who is later sent away to the Refuge for the Destitute in London, where she will be trained for a life of domestic service.

It is at the Refuge that Hannah meets Annie Simpkins, a fellow resident, and together they forge a friendship that deepens into passionate love. But the strength of this bond is put to the test when the girls are caught stealing from the Refuge's laundry, and they are sentenced to transportation to Botany Bay, setting them on separate paths that may never cross again.

Drawing on real events, The Low Road is a gripping, atmospheric tale that brings to life the forgotten voices of the past – convicts, servants, the rural poor – as well as a moving evocation of love that blossomed in the face of prejudice and ill fortune.


"The Low Road is a tough read, paradoxically, because of the empathy with which Quarmby tells her story; tougher, too, because it is based on true events."
~ Katherine Mezzacappa, Historical Novel Society Review

"Vibrant... Quarmby immerses the reader into the early nineteenth century with this page-turning tale of forbidden passion and a woman’s ultimate triumph over adversity."
~ Michelle Styles, author of The Gladiator's Honour

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