Book Review | The Tin Ticket
Author: Deborah J. Swiss
The Tin Ticket: The Heroic Journey of Australia’s Convict Women is an incredible piece of work. It is unbelievably detailed and painstakingly researched in order to provide an accurate and powerful picture of a largely forgotten (or unknown altogether) segment in history. It is definitely one that is worth telling and, without a doubt, worth reading.
The Tin Ticket speaks volumes about the history of justice, fairness, human dignity, and class structure. While it tells the story of those who were condemned to experience a hell on earth, it also tells the stories of those who worked tirelessly to change the system. A simple passage about women who were literally crammed into a cell, “eyes crusted thick with grit and infection…their matted hair [running] wild with lice and fleas…lying on the stone floor, scratching half-heartedly at scabies and other itchy rashes born of filth…some stank from the rotting odor of syphillis…” conjures an image that seems more likely to be seen in a movie than in a history book. We’re talking the 1800s, not the Middle Ages.
Although history is one of my favorite topics (and I have a degree in it, mind you), this was something I knew nothing about. However, Deborah J. Swiss has documented it with remarkable skill and the result is a story that is packed with historical information as well as a flair for storytelling that captivates and moves you as a reader. She has struck the perfect balance between sharing a wealth of information and creating an interesting story. It would be difficult to read The Tin Ticket and not be affected in some way by the suffering, the injustice, and the sacrifices of so many. I certainly was.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*