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Dangerous Women

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  568 ratings  ·  256 reviews
Nearly two hundred condemned women on board a sailing ship bound for Australia. One of them is a murderer. From debut author Hope Adams comes a thrilling novel based on the 1841 voyage of the convict ship Rajah, about confinement, hope, and the terrible things we do to survive.

London, 1841. One hundred eighty Englishwomen file aboard the Rajah, embarking on a three-month v
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Hardcover, 400 pages
Published February 16th 2021 by Berkley
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  568 ratings  ·  256 reviews


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Debra (having surgery will be back in a few days)
"Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." - Ephesians 4:28

This book blends fiction and history to tell the story of the Rajah convict ship and its voyage in 1841 taking English female convicts to Tasmania - then Van Diemen's Island.

Here is a list of the real convicts aboard:
https://www.hawkesbury.net.au/claimac...


One hundred eighty Englishwomen board the Rajah in London, 1841. T
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Nilufer Ozmekik
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
After finishing this heartbreaking, moving, thought provoking novel which truly shakes you to the core, only thing on my mind is going to National Gallery of Australia for seeing the giant quilt created by these women hanging on the wall.

The book is created based on true stories of 180 women who were convicted mostly from petty crimes and released from prison to set sailed to Rajah/ Tasmania: a historical vessel for starting a new life. There are also 10 children on the board. And in this ficti
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Blaine DeSantis
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First time author Hope Adams has a real winner in her debut historical fiction/mystery novel, Dangerous Women. This book is set in 1841 and follows the fates of 180 women who are being transported on the boat, Rajah, from jails in England to Van Diemen’s Land, which is present day Tasmania.
The trip takes 15 weeks and is told through the eyes of 3 or 4 main characters, as they recount the trip, as well as a stabbing assault that takes place upon the boat during this crossing. The book begins wit
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Darla
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Rajah Quilt. It's mere existence is an enduring witness to the sisterhood that was established on this voyage from England to Van Diemen's Island in 1841. Nearly 200 female convicts are being sent to what is now Tasmania. These were women who had all been convicted of petty theft and other crimes not deemed worthy of capital punishment. A young woman named Kezia Hayter volunteers to be a matron on the ship for free passage. The Rajah Quilt was her vision and it was accomplished. An amazing f ...more
Whispering Stories
Mar 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com

Dangerous Women is a fascinating story that blends a wonderful fictional story based on real historical events. In 1841 the Rajah convict ship set sail from London, UK to Tasmania, Australia, or as it was known back then, Van Diemen’s Land with 180 convicted criminal women onboard.

Whilst on their 105-day long journey some of the women began a sewing group and made a quilt, known as The Rajah Quilt which can be viewed online as it is still on show at The
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Martie Nees Record
Oct 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery and Thrillers
Publisher: Berkley
Pub. Date: February 16, 2021

Mini-Review

Let me start off by saying the Adams mixes the genres in this one. This is not the best nor the worst historical fiction that I have read. I always enjoy reading historical facts that reads like fiction, which you will find in this novel. The author takes us back to the year 1841. The story revolves around a true historical event. Approximately, 200 English women, who have been convicted for m
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Eva K (journeyofthepages)
Dangerous Women by Hope Adams started out so strong and I was initially gripped by the story! But the middle 60% of this book was too long, slow, scenically dark, one dimensional and frankly, boring. This is a classic "who-done-it" murder mystery but the scene and characters, while they are quite unique, were one dimensional. This story takes place during a 100+ day voyage aboard the Rajah, a massive prisoner transport ship traveling from the UK and Australia. The scenes are dark and drab while ...more
Rebecca Rowlands
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
YESSS. I love a well researched historical fiction so this was a massive hit for me. I knew nothing of the Rajah quilt before this book and have been thoroughly entranced by the story of it - I cant wait to do my own research into it now!

The story itself is a great page turner, I felt that it moved at a really nice pace and the fictional aspect of the plot was exciting and a great murder mystery that kept me guessing throughout. A real joy to read. 5/5.
Jan
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bad girls at sea. Dangerous women is fiction based on fact. Set on a convict ship, the Rajah, transporting women convicts from the UK to Australia.
The author creates a claustrophobic feel of being imprisoned on a ship with hundreds of women, and with so many characters I found it extremely hard to tell them apart, even though she narrows it down to a group of fewer than 20 women, who form a sewing group to create a patchwork quilt to teach them sewing skills and to while away their time on the
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Rachel
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dangerous Women by Hope Adams is an excellent historical fiction that delves into the real-life transport of 180 women that were convicted of an array of crimes from England to, what is now called, Tasmania aboard The Rajah in 1841.

I knew of the transport of female citizens from England to Australia/NZ/Tasmania from prior books and research, but I had not specifically read anything about The Rajah. I found it fascinating to read about some of the actual individuals that traveled on the ship, as
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Louise
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two hundred women convicts on a ship bound for the other side of the world,and one of them is a murderer.
Biggest locked room mystery ever it seemed,until the cast of suspects was narrowed down considerably.
I really enjoyed this book,,and the fact it was based on mostly a true story. (I've googled and looked at the quilt)

Told over two timelines,the then and now,helps us get to know the characters better.
It was so refreshing not to have 101 plot twists,just a straight forward who dunnit.
The most l
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Cathy Ryan
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5*
Based on the very real 1841 voyage of the convict ship Rajah and including several historical characters, Dangerous Women is the story of a group of women, convicted mostly of petty crimes, being transported to Tasmania, then known as Van Diemen’s Land. The chapters alternate between ‘then’ and ‘now’ giving insights into the women’s individual situations, how and why they found themselves being deported. Many had been forced into petty thievery by controlling husbands or fathers. Others stol
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Louise Wilson
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
London, 1841: One Hundred and eighty English women file aboard the Rajah, embarking on a three month voyage to the other side of the world. They're daughters, sisters, mothers -- and convicts. Transported for petty crimes. Except one of them has a deadly secret, and will do anything for justice. As the Rajah sails further from land, the women forgr tenuous kinship. Until, a young mother is mortally wounded, and the hunt is on for the assailant before he or she strikes again.

There's a dew true H
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SharleneH
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Dangerous women-Hope Adams
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Nearly two hundred condemned women on board a sailing ship bound for Australia. A novel based on the 1841 voyage of the convict ship Rajah, a novel about hope during confinement, about a murder and the terrible things we will do to survive.
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What a wonderful debut Adams has written! A historical fiction, murder mystery that is both thought provoking, heartbreaking and felt so real. The fates of these women were out of their control and they are flawed, tired, struggli
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4cats
Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1841 The Rajah sailing ship was tasked with transporting 180 female convicts from London to Hobart in Tasmania. The Master of the Rajah was Charles Ferguson, the ships surgeon was James Donovan and along with the 180 women there were 10 children and Kezia Hayter who had been sent out to Australia by prison reformer Elizabeth Fry to look after the convicts. One of her duties was to supervise a group of women in the task of creating a patchwork quilt which would become the Rajah quilt.

Hope Adam
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Bookphenomena (Micky)
Headlines:
Suspense on the seas
Desperation
Emotive
Gritty themes

The cover of this book swept me away initally, followed by the synopsis. Reading the book totally lived up to my hopes and expectations. I would categorise this as a historical suspense. Its strengths partially lie in the fact that this story context is reality, the voyage of convicts being transported and occupying themselves by making a quilt. The other strength was the execution, the writing that transported me along with the passen
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Jules
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on a real life voyage, Dangerous Women tells the story of a group of women who come together to stitch a coverlet (quilt) whilst they are away at sea for 105 days. The women are all convicts who are taken away from their homes & families as a punishment, to start a new life in Hobart. Despite their initial differences, the women come together for this project they have been tasked with, but along the journey there are some heartbreaking moments that they must overcome.

A story of confineme
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Vikki Patis
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dangerous Women is an excellent example of female-led historical fiction. Based on a true story, it depicts the lives of almost 200 women sentenced to transportation to Tazmania, and the coverlet they created during the crossing under the guidance of Kezia Hayter. Though they lived in a world governed by men, these women, their lives and motivations are in the very centre of this story, accompanied by a fictional murder.
Bonnye Reed
I received a free electronic ARC of this novel from Netgalley, Hope Adams, and Berkley Publishing. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read Dangerous Women of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Hope Adams writes a tight tale with compassion and heart. She is an author I will follow.

This voyage of the Rajah, carrying 180+ women prisoners from London to Van Diemen's Land, also known as Hobart's Island (also known as Tasmania) in the Aust
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Vikki Patis
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dangerous Women is an excellent example of female-led historical fiction. Based on a true story, it depicts the lives of almost 200 women sentenced to transportation to Tazmania, and the coverlet they created during the crossing under the guidance of Kezia Hayter. Though they lived in a world governed by men, these women, their lives and motivations are in the very centre of this story, accompanied by a fictional murder.
Connie
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
1841, the Rajah - a sailing ship - is transporting 180 female convicts from England to Van Diemans land, now known as Tasmania.
On board is a young woman called Kezia Hayter. Kezia is the matron charged with the care and improvement of the prisoners and is tasked with teaching the women the art of sewing in the hopes that the making of a quilt will provide a means of employment on the long journey.
As the ship sails away we see friendships blossom between the women, and one lady has a dark secret
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SiSi O'Driscoll
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
'That's what we too are like us women. We're a patchwork...Here are friends and enemies. We've turned ourselves into something. We're many small pieces, each pf us different but now stitched together. A patchwork of souls.'

A huge thank you to Penguin Books and Michael Joseph Books for sending me a copy of this. As soon as I read the description, I had to start reading it straight away!

Historical fiction has fast become one of my favourite genres in the last year. I was never a huge nonfiction f
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Cathy
I first heard about this book at Henley Literary Festival in 2019 when it was one of the debut novels featured at the Michael Joseph Proof Party, alongside Stephanie Wrobel’s The Recovery of Rose Gold (which I’ve since read and reviewed). At the time, Dangerous Women was due to be published in 2020 under the title Conviction. For various reasons, publication was delayed but the plot of Dangerous Women is largely unchanged from that which the author described at the time. Indeed the passage from ...more
Hayley
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Hanifa Frederick at Michael Joseph for sending me a copy of 𝗗𝗔𝗡𝗚𝗘𝗥𝗢𝗨𝗦 𝗪𝗢𝗠𝗘𝗡 by Hope Adams
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𝐎𝐧 𝐚 𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩 𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐮𝐢𝐥𝐭𝐲... 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞?
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I highly enjoyed Dangerous Women. Although it is clearly Historical Fiction, it felt like it spanned multiple genres with the story aboard The Rajah being a Classic Murder Mystery but with a feminist twist.
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𝐇𝐞𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐭 𝐌𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐛𝐚𝐧𝐤, 𝐰𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐡𝐨'𝐝 𝐟𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐲 𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐜𝐫
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Val Robson
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I’m in two minds about this book. I chose to read it as I thought it was going to be historical fiction but it is actually more mystery fiction. The book is set aboard HMS Rajah from April-July 1841 during a voyage from Woolwich, London to Van Dieman’s Land (now Tasmania) transporting 180 women convicts as their punishment for petty crimes. Back in 1816 Elizabeth Fry, a famous prison reformer, had set up a Quaker group ‘British Ladies Society for the Reformation of Female Prisoners’. This group ...more
Chantelle Hazelden
Thank you to Netgalley and Michael J Books for my copy.

I liked this story from the get go, being about women it felt as though it had a certain power behind it.

This is a book that blends history with fiction, bringing us a moving and thought provoking tale of love, betrayal and danger.

Set in 1841, we follow the fates of 180+ convicted women who are being transported on the boat, Rajah, from their jail cells in England to Van Diemen’s Land, which is present day Tasmania, in the hopes of beginning
...more
Lucy-May
Rating: 4.5

It’s been a while since I read a historical mystery & I really, really enjoyed this one. I requested the book as I loved the concept of the ship/journey & I was excited to learn a bit more about this (not so nice) part of British history... in the end though, it was the mystery that really kept me interested - the “who done it” approach taken in the book was fantastic; I loved having chapters from the perspective of the most likely suspect, whilst still not actually knowing who she wa
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Sarah Hudson
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fabulous example of historical fiction meeting a locked-room whodunit! This intriguing tale is based in 1841, aboard the real-life transportation ship the “Rajah” and follows the journey of the crew, the matron and c. 180 female convicts leaving London and heading to Australia. The events that unfold, such as the blossoming romance between the captain and Kezia, our protagonist who is assigned to oversee and care for the women aboard, and the creation of a hand-crafted coverlet by Kezi ...more
Kelly
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
A fantastic concept, perfectly executed. This is a wonderful piece of historical fiction: it centres around a real historical artefact, known now as the ‘rajah quilt’, which was made by women aboard a convict ship bound for Tasmania, where they were being transported for petty crimes. This quilt was lost into obscurity for a long time, so it seems a lovely idea to shed more light on it now with a fictional story which it has inspired. While the ship, the quilt, and a few of the characters are al ...more
Catalina
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The historical events behind this book sound quite interesting. Plus the cover is gorgeous!! But I am afraid I've found the story told in Dangerous Women boring. Ups :p

Dangerous women is primarily the story of Kezia Hayter: a genteel women involved with the Ladies Committee and their role in improving prison conditions for women. Kezia is portrayed in her many roles: as a matron - helping the convict women learn a useful skill and to bond in a hard situation: being transported to Tasmania; bein
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