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The Katy Tree

Zeus Publications, 2009
RRP: $31.95

Reviewed by Barbara Smith, a member of Buderim Uniting Church

Lady Catherine McGregor brings the seed of a tree growing in the grounds of her stately home in Scotland to Van Dieman’s Land in the early 19th century.

Against all odds the tree does grow and blossom.

Katy, her brother Angus and his wife leave Scotland to make a new and better life in the colony where they are each granted land and begin to plan their lives as land owners among the gentry and convict population.

They have the advantage of wealth and title. The family can claim to have a connection to Scots royalty. These advantages prove their downfall in ways unforeseeable.

However just as the tree survived, grew and blossomed so does Katy after many frightening and chilling circumstances.

The plot is very plausible.

The historical content true to that which is known of early Van Diemen’s Land. Ms Dart has produced a novel with a good story line, believable background and historical interest.
She is able to weave the elements of church social attitudes and physical struggle together to capture the readers absorbed interest.