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The Boy with Blue Trousers

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  131 ratings  ·  35 reviews
On the goldfields of 19th-century Australia, two very different girls are trying to escape their past.

1856, China.
In the mulberry groves of the Pearl River Delta, eighteen-year-old Little Cat carries a terrible secret. And so, in disguise as a boy in blue trousers, she makes the long and difficult passage to Australia, a faraway land of untold riches where it is said the r
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 1st 2020 by Head of Zeus (first published 2019)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  131 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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This is such a pretty book. I adore the cover.
The writing inside is exquisite and alluring so much so it becomes addictive after a while. In a good way.

It’s a very complex read with cultural class interwoven.

Two women who are fleeing.

Needing to flee their homeland
Passage to Australia

But neither women know each other.....

Little Cat is not a girly girl and knows Kung fu moves from her twin brother.
But in her culture it doesn’t fit, it’s not apt.

Women are women and men are m

Seventeen-year-old Little Cat and her twin, Second Brother knew the silk was their future – but more was needed. The mulberry trees were plentiful, the silk woven from the cocoons kept them busy from dawn to dusk. But their father needed more land. The family adjacent to their property, wealthy landowner Wu, could lease them more. Little Cat was best friends with the daughter, Siu Wan – but lifestyles would go the way the parents and elders wanted them to…

When Little Cat was put in the path
Dash fan
5☆ A Unique, Inspiring, Captivating Historical Read.

Oh wow what a Unique, Captivating, Poignant Historical Read!

Two very different women wanting the same thing, to be free and to be themselves.
So they both escape, where there paths will cross, on their journey to Australia.

Little Cat feels like she is undervalued as she is a girl.
She can do the same as her Twin brother, fight like him, do the same work, but she will never be equal.
Living in China, her parents and culture believe women shouldn't
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

"One day you may find, little sister," pronounced her brother, "that the price of freedom is too high... even for you."

I did not know what to expect coming into this book.
I was not disappointed at all.
There was so much thrill, suspense, danger and action in this book.

It was a slow burn in the beginning. Understandable, as you need to really know the story line of Little Cat for the plotline to really get into.
Elvina Zafril
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pansing
The story is inspired by the true event in 19th Century where the Chinese immigrants who were landed in Australia and had to walk a few hundred miles to get to goldfields.

Little Cat and her family run silk but they need more land. They need to make money. Little Cat twin brother had been planning to go to Australia to make money but the one who headed there was Little Cat. Little Cat disguised as a boy and changed her name to Strong Arm. As she headed to her new life, she didn’t realize that so
Jeanette Lewis
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins Australia for the opportunity to read and review another fabulous book from Carol Jones.

What could be the connection between a teenage girl living in the Pearl River Delta of China in 1856 and that of a young English woman 25 years old in the same era living in Robetown Sth Australia. The reader will see that both are not your usual compliant females of this era, rather they are feisty, independent and have great determination. I loved and identified with
It's 1856, and in the Pearl River Delta village of Sandy Bottom, feisty 18yo Little Cat is considering becoming a self-combed woman; putting her own hair up to proclaim herself a spinster who will not be beholden to any man. But her life takes a dramatic turn when she comes to the attention of the village's most powerful man, and she finds herself on her way to the New Gold Mountain (the Victorian goldfields) disguised as a man.

Meanwhile, in Robetown, a small coastal settlement in South Aust
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
4.5 stars
The Boy with Blue Trousers is a stimulating journey across the seas, taking the reader from the silk groves of China, through to the port destination of Robetown in South Australia, and finally to the fateful western goldfields region in Victoria. It is an eventful tale that interlocks the lives of two very different women, Little Cat and Violet, as they both negotiate a world that does not welcome unconventional women.

Opening in 1850s China, around
Nov 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.

This is a book about culture, friendship and hardship. A plot that explores China and Australia set in the year 1856, bringing two characters together in extraordinary circumstances.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. The two cultures described in this book are fascinating bringing two polar opposites of the world together in one engaging book, you get a remarkable insight especially into Chinese culture with the character Little Cat
Theresa Smith
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, aww2019
Last year I read The Concubine’s Child by Carol Jones and fell in love with her writing. Her latest release, The Boy with Blue Trousers, is equally as captivating. It’s like she’s gently carved out her own new sub-genre: cultural historical fiction.

“‘It takes a hundred rebirths to ride in the same boat, a thousand to share the same pillow.’ So it was said. One day it would be their time. Even if it took ten thousand thousand years, one day they would find each other again.”

There are two entirely
I really enjoyed Carol Jones’s previous novel, The Concubine’s Child, set partly in 1930s Malaysia. What I particularly admired about the book was the rich cultural detail. The same is true of The Boy With Blue Trousers, especially in the early sections set in the Pearl River Delta where the reader is immersed in daily life in a small village – its inhabitants’ social customs, spiritual beliefs and traditions. Not to mention the fascinating information about the farming of silkworms!

Unlike The C
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘They had been friends of a sort once.’

The 19th century goldfields of Australia provide the setting for this absorbing novel. Two very different young women escaping from their pasts and the roles which society has decreed for them. The family of Mo Lin Fa (known as Little Cat) has a small silk producing business in the Pearl River Delta of China. Her brother is to leave China for the Australian goldfields, where the money he will make will help the family grow their business.

‘She could only he
Cathy Geha
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Boy with Blue Trousers by Carol Jones

Historical multicultural story of love, honor, family and so much more. Two women from opposite corners of the world end up far from home in Australia. Both are doing their best to survive and hopefully thrive. Both have dreams and desires, wishes and hopes, pasts to run from and futures to embrace. How they arrive in Australia and then find the direction they will move into the future is a beautifully written enthralling story that kept me reading withou
Jaelyn Cobain
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reads-feb2020
Carol Jones being an Australian got her research done through many primary sources , including trips to China. Since she is married to Malaysian' Chinese, it has given her the opportunity to capture each character and story that combines the Asian and western culture.

This story was set in the 1800 between a Celestial Country (China) and a western country Australia. The title "Ths Boy with Blue Trousers" truly caught my attention, and to my suprise it was net even a boy to begin with.This story m
Carol Jones
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
This book and its characters have been with me for a long time, so I have to give them the thumbs up now that they are finally out in the world.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gifted, first-reads
The Boy with Blue Trousers is an absorbing historical read, highlighting women's incredible endurance and strength in forging their own paths. Told between a silk producing village on China's Pearl River Delta and the South Australian township of Robe in the 1800s, the novel is an unconventional, feminist take on the Australian gold rush, with a cracking dose of adventure and romance. Readers should note triggers for attempted suicide, murder by battery and sexual assault.

Eighteen year old Littl
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Boy With Blue Trousers set in China and Australia during the 1850s is highly engaging historical fiction. From paddy fields to goldfields, this is the story of two young women who, for differing reasons, are escaping one life in search for a new one. When the rules of two culturally different societies force these women to rise above the life often dictated to them at the time.

There are some interesting issues going on, testament to Carol certainly having done her homework. With themes of r
Alexis (hookedtobooks)
Thank you to @tlcbooktours and @headofzeus for sending me a copy of @caroljonesauthor book! -
This book was fun and interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed it! It takes place during the 1850s in both China and Australia, and looks at two different journey to the outback in search of better fortunes.
Little Cat is living in her small village in China, where she helps with her families silk production and spinning. After certain events unfold, she is forced to escape to Australia to make her families
Emily Hussey
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An engrossing and well-researched story. Kept me captivated, such that I kept reading long after I should have been doing other things.
Elite Group
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of two cultures colliding.

Mo Lin Fa, better known as Little Cat, is determined to be treated as equal to her brothers. However, under Chinese culture during the 1800s this is impossible to expect even if she can fight like a man thanks to her twin brother, Mo Wing Yong’s training.

Her eldest brother, Wing Keong wants to marry Siu Wan. Unfortunately, his parents do not have the money to pay for this marriage. Wing Keong’s only way to find the money is to join the many thousands of Chine
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's 1856, on the Pearl River Delta in China, and Little Cat is tired of picking leaves for the ungrateful silk worms. She'd rather be "trading punches with her brother, listening to gossip in the girls' house or daydreaming under the nammu trees." Each member of her family has a role to play and a job to do to keep the family silk business and the family fed. Little Cat and her twin Second Brother were friends with Young Wu, the son of the wealthy landowner, who held their future in his hands. ...more
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspired by the true 19th-century story of thousands of Chinese immigrants who were landed in a tiny Australian port and had to walk hundreds of miles to the goldfields, The Boy With Blue Trousers is a moving tale of a young Chinese woman who dresses as a boy to escape a powerful family intent on vengeance. From the mulberry groves of China to the strange new land across the ocean, she must not only deal with the enemy who hunts her, but the beautiful yet untrustworthy Englishwoman whose fate be ...more
Kirsty ~ Paper Hearts Ink
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A heart-wrenching story told from the perspective of two fierce females; Little Cat and Violet. Both are faced with hardship and forced into roles befitting of the time.

This story was a journey of discovery, love, and strength. I adored Little Cat and the slightly more prickly Violet. The writing was wonderful but didn’t shy away from difficult subjects. It transported me to both China and Australia within the space of a few chapters.

Be prepared for a slow burn but it’s totally worth it! There
Kit Kwok
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an absolute pleasure to read. Thank you Carol Jones.

The Boy With Blue Trousers is a truly unique tale. Clearly some very thorough research was put into writing this.

Loved Little Cat! A true warrior!
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Netgalley and Head of Zeus for a free kindle version of this book! I also have a beautiful paperback version of this on its way to me.

Set in the 1850s, Little Cat is having to escape China to the Australian goldfields in place of her brother in order to increase their family’s fortunes....and to save her own life following an unfortunate incident.

At the same time, Violet has arrived from England as a governess after fleeing scandal and is determined to find herself a husband and a
Linda Amos
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The twins, Little Cat and Second Brother are sparring again. He is teaching his sister kung fu and their cousin, Young Wu, watches. The family have a silk business, unwinding the cocoons. Everyone owes Big Wu, either their land, house or life. And he collects. Suddenly Little Cat is forced to run for her life, protected by Second Brother. Disguised as a boy she makes her way to the New Gold Mountain. Will she make it or will her secret be discovered? Will she make a new life in the country of th ...more
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book and the characters were very well drawn. Other reviewers have commented that they weren't taken with Violet; certainly not my favourite character but her options were so limited. What choices were there for girls with no money and no family?

None of the characters actually had much of a say in the way their lives panned out, apart from Big Wu initially.

Considerable research would have been needed to convey the period in both Chinese and Australian history, which was very well
Esther King
I really enjoyed the premise of this book and the characterisation found within it. The descriptions were good, but I do feel like they could have meandered a bit more, making for a longer book but also a richer environment. The one thing that got me was the marrying of the stories and also the love scenes with the characters, which I felt were a little out of place in a historical novel of this type. There was a point where the characters joined their stories and it didn't make huge amounts of ...more
Lea Manning
I did enjoy this story but would have like more detail of life in the gold fields.
Nicky Mottram
Audio version of this book 📚- Nice easy listen
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Goodreads Librari...: Please update cover for forthcoming UK paperback edition 5 22 Nov 08, 2019 06:44PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please change the synopsis on my book 3 15 Oct 15, 2019 06:59PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Change synopsis please 3 14 Jun 14, 2019 03:20PM  
Aussie Readers: My new book now on Netgalley 2 14 May 21, 2019 02:46AM  
Aussie Readers: New book coming soon 12 26 May 01, 2019 11:45PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Claiming a title 3 20 Apr 06, 2019 09:34PM  

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The Concubine's Child, set in 1930s Malaya, was my first novel for adults. It was inspired by twenty-five years of annual visits to Malaysia to stay with my partner's family. The Boy with Blue Trousers , set in China and Australia, is my latest historical fiction. Previously, I have written more than thirty books for younger readers.

Born in Australia, I have spent most of my life in Melbourne, wor

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