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The Silk Thief

(Convict Girls #3)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  457 ratings  ·  38 reviews
1830s Sydney Town - blackmail, friendship, bar brawls, romance, tattoos, gin and much more - is brought vividly to life as fiesty prostitute Friday, naive seamstress Harrie and cunning thief Sarah try to make their way as transported convict women.

1831: Assigned to a good family in Sydney Town and now learning the art of tattoo, convict girl Harrie Clarke is still haunted
Paperback, 448 pages
Published November 1st 2014 by HarperCollins Australia
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4.20  · 
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 ·  457 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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☼♄Jülie 

The Silk Thief by Deborah Challinor

Loved, loved, loved it!! I have been hanging out to read this 3rd book in the Convict Girls series, and I was not disappointed.

Deborah Challinor has delivered another riveting read which seamlessly follows on from her previous two in this series.
This is my favourite genre, and Deborah Challinor is at the top of my list for favourite authors in this genre. It is clear to the reader that she has done her homework and it pays off. She has proven to be a master st
Gentle Harrie Clarke felt like she was coming apart at the seams; haunted by the earlier actions of her friends, Friday Woolfe, Sarah Morgan and herself where a man had died (admittedly he had deserved it), she couldn’t stop her thoughts going there continually. Her guilt was eating her up and blackness was creeping into her soul. To take her mind off her troubles, Harrie agreed to learn the art of tattooing when local tattooist Leo offered her the job. She was to practise on Friday, but Friday ...more
Another enjoyable chapter in the long-running saga of the brave convict girls, fighting their way to a new life in the rough world of early 19th century Sydney.

The remaining three of the four young girls who were transported from England have settled into different roles but have maintained their close connection with each other. The orphaned baby daughter of the extremely fair, sunny fourth girl is in care back at the Female Factory, the place they all fear being sent back to if they don’t
Jeanette Lewis
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
The senses are taken on a journey right from the beginning of old Sydney Town 1831 and it is not a pretty picture. It seems that the Brits simply duplicated cities like London and Liverpool into the new colony, the filth, open drains, sewers and rough life. It’s no wonder that the city just grew without little planning and narrow streets. This story has many colourful characters and secondary connections that make it a delightful and interesting read. In the main it revolves around 3 women, frie ...more
Love the audiobook of this - Helen Duff does a great job with all the different characters' voices!

It's funny - despite Friday's profuse swearing, her work as a prostitute, her heavy drinking, and the general description of some of the seedier aspects of Sydney life in the 1800s, not to mention the more criminal aspects, I'm really quite enjoying this series! I am looking forward to reading the final book. Although, then it will be over!
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Deborah Challinor is an absolute Gem and The Silk Thief is the third novel in a series of convict girls in Sydney which is just fantastic. I have loved every single page of this series and I have picked up the fourth and last book as soon as I finished this one to stay in a historical world that you can touch and smell, totally immersing myself in Australia's history. As the story continues of three young girls who were transported to Sydney as convicts we come to love each one as our own friend ...more
Lyn Ford
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved, loved it!! I have been hanging out to read the 3rd book in the Convict Girls series, and I was not disappointed.
I can't wait to see what unfolds for Friday in the next book in the series and sadly it will be the last
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Much like the previous two books in this series, I could not put this down for love nor money. Reading about my home city through a tiny veil of poetic license is a little addicting. The story picked up immediately after the previous book ended, which was wonderful, since I don't think I couldn't taken any more suspense there. There wasn't really a climax as such, but the plot twists and developing story were lovely. There was a tiny tiny resolution, but I'm going to have to endeavour to read th ...more
Jo Rushby
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Silk Thief is the third novel in this series of convict girls in Sydney.
I really love Deborah Challinor novels. Her Historical scenes are accurate for the time it is set.
Looking forward to the last novel of this series to be published.
If you love historical fiction this one is a must.
It continues the story of three young girls who are transported to Sydney as convicts. The girls suffer hardships trying to survive and become lifelong friends.
Dec 02, 2014 added it
Excellent!!! Can hardly wait to read the final in the series - a great author, one of my favourites
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
It has been a while since I read the first 2 books in the series so it took a bit to get into this one but once I did it was a good read. Looking forward to the final book in the series.
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Absolutely loved this book. Another great book by my favourite author Deborah Challinor. I think this saga gets better with each book released. Can't wait for the next one to come out.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well written but sometimes repetitive and slow. 3.5 Stars
Robyn Gibson
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
1831...Friday, Sarah, Rachel and Harrie are transported from London to Sydney Town as convicts to be assigned to free people to serve their sentence as maids, prostitutes, cooks, etc. They did something on the ship on their way to Sydney that will hang over them for a long while and are being blackmailed for their actions. Their friend Rachel died in childbirth, having been raped by a low life man on the ship so the girls want payback for what that man did.
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Supplied by HarperCollins New Zealand for review

Friday, Sarah, and Harrie are convict girls in 1830s Sydney, bonded out to work as servants and earn their keep. Friday works as a prostitute, Sarah has married her jeweller husband and helps run his business, Harrie is a domestic now learning the art of tattooing.

After Walter killed the disgusting Amos Furniss in the last book, he needs to disappear so the girls and Leo, Harrie’s tattooist boss, book him passage on a ship bound for England. He has
Therese Noble
Apr 19, 2015 rated it liked it
I wanted to read a novel set in Sydney in the 1830s, which I why I chose this one. I didn't realise it was the third in a quartet.
Challinor's research is wonderful and her characters are endearing. I think my disappointment might lie in the fact that I needed to read the first two because I really missed a 'real villain' in this novel. I'm sure her the other two novels have the evil I was hoping for. It was certainly suggested. This is Harrie's story - a victim of so much of her past tragedies t
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
1830's Sydney town is so vividly alive in these books but the research is not labored. The three women are very interesting (and contrasting) characters.The men do not fare so well. Adam is not just "cardboard" he's a wet piece of paper: he doesn't come alive at all and he could have been SUCH a fascinating character.
The dog has more personality.

One quibble about this very entertaining book. Writing a series requires the skill of keeping the threads of the plots in mind for the reader. I find my
V.E. Lynne
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Deborah Challinor's books are always gripping and very well researched and 'The Silk Thief' is no exception to this. It is the third in a series, following on from 'Behind the Sun' and 'Girl of Shadows'. It is pretty much essential to have read the first two in order to be able to grasp the threads of the plot in this one so I won't provide any spoilers but suffice to say that the three main characters, Friday, Sarah and Harriet, are in a world of trouble, the latter especially so. The setting o ...more
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie-author
Number 3 in this fabulous series - I am really enjoying it!

This book is Harrie's story. Sweet, gentle Harrie who becomes a convict when she attempts to steal a bolt of material. She meets 3 other convict girls and they become her new family as she is shipped away from England to Australia.

I love that each book follows seamlessly on from the one before. So glad I get to read the final book in the series straight after this one!
This is the third book in the series about four convict women and their lives in Sydney Town. It is very interesting to be told the story of the beginning of Australia through the eyes of this group of women, at a time when they had no status. While reading this I can clearly visualise early Sydney, the dirt and struggles and the fight to survive. Each character copes with life in different ways but the bond between them remains strong. It is best to read the series from the beginning.
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Probably the best of the three novels, in my opinion. It shows that Deborah has done a great deal of research into life in penal colony Australian times and you really get a feel for how difficult life could be. The characters in the novels are great and very entertaining. I can't wait for book number 4!
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
An ok read Admittedly it wasn't till the end I realised this was part of a series. Kept me entertained but no great work of literature. Story of convict women in 19th century Australia. What a life! It became a bit unrelenting but it is an ok read.
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A gripping story that follows the life of the three convict girls: the colourful prostitute Friday, clever jeweller-come-thief Sarah and the very troubled, good-girl Harrie as they follow a turbulent path through 1830s Sydney with its villains, blackmail, prisons and orphanages.
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really enjoying this series, Deb Challinor crafts her characters and their stories so well and her attention to detail adds to it. Looking forward to book 4.
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic third book in the series.
Angela Oliver
Jan 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Whilst I thoroughly enjoy these books, the pacing in this one felt a little off. It was slow at points, then raced through other events - quite dramatic events - at a rapid clip.
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another good book in the series.
I especially appreciated the careful way that Harries illness was treated in the story telling, and the small twist about Friday.
Catherine Maisey
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book...I find it harder and harder to put these books down...can't wait for the final instalment in this series!!
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Born in Huntly, she holds a PhD in New Zealand history from the University of Waikato. Challinor has worked as a fulltime writer and historian since 2000.

Primarily known for her historical novels, Deborah Challinor’s first published books were non-fiction history books, including the best-selling Grey Ghosts: New Zealand Vietnam Vets Talk About Their War (Hodder Moa Beckett, 1998).

Her first histor

Other books in the series

Convict Girls (4 books)
  • Behind the Sun (Convict Girls #1)
  • Girl of Shadows (Convict Girls #2)
  • A Tattooed Heart (Convict Girls #4)
“smeared a balm over the end of it.” 0 likes
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