Florence is seduced by the son of her employer in Leicestershire. Thomas Luxford casts her aside, denying all responsibility for her coming child. Fleeing her former life, Florence's twins are born illegitimately in Bedford in 1819. Florence is alone and destitute with her infant daughters. Fortunately the twins' paternal grandfather seeks them out and saves them from the workhouse. Thanks to his benevolence, Joey and Maddy grow up in secluded gentility. However, their way of life changes with the onset of their mother's consumption and a trip to Brighton to effect a cure.
At nineteen, the twins suffer a double tragedy, losing both their mother and their beloved grandfather. After time in London and on the advice of their solicitor, the girls flee the country to secure the inheritance left to them by their grandfather. They choose to make Australia their new home. The voyage via Rio de Janeiro is not without incident and Joey finds she cannot remain in Sydney with her sister. She travels on to Melbourne, determined to make her life in the young and brash settlement. Maddy joins her there.
In the fledgling town where floods and constant mud threaten to overwhelm, the girls follow through with their plan for their future. Despite the sad plight of the aborigines, an economic depression, labour shortages and personal trauma, they ultimately win through. By 1847, Melbourne grows from a lawless frontier settlement into a burgeoning town, rich on the wealth of wool.
The book follows the lives of these women as they struggle to earn their place in a man's world. The saga of early Melbourne unfolds through their tragedies and celebrations, two women destined to change the fabric of colonial society and make a lasting impact on the character of Australian life.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.92(d)|
About the Author
Dell has written four children's books in the History's a Mystery series, teaching 9-12 year olds world history while giving them exciting adventures to read. A Voice to be Heard is her first adult novel.
Dell loves the outdoors, especially the wilderness. In her younger years, she was a keen swimmer and squash player. She now enjoys all outdoor pursuits and tries to play golf regularly. She has a wonderful family, being happily married with two grown-up children and five beautiful grandchildren. She lives on the south coast of New South Wales.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Michelle Randall for Readers' Favorite Travel back to the 1800s to a time when society was ruled by men, and women were window dressing. A Voice to be Heard starts with a young girl, Florence, who is well educated, something uncommon for that era. Yet she is seduced and becomes pregnant by the lord of the house's son, only to be held in high regard by the lord, who takes care of her and her twin daughters for the rest of his life. However, the grandfather is killed in a freak carriage accident and the mother dies after a run-in with her seducer. The twins go to their grandfather's lawyer with a plan. The lawyer is more than happy to help and sets plans into action. Within a month the girls are on a boat to Australia. Despite all society's conventions, the girls proceed on their own and buy a house, build another, turn the first into a hotel, and thus an empire is created. Along the way, each twin runs into problems with men. Happier times and sadder times follow, just as in life. Dell Brand does a wonderful job of making you feel like you are really living in Melbourne in the 1840s. A Voice to be Heard is an inspirational read to any woman, allowing them to realize that they can accomplish whatever they want, no matter what society says. It won't be easy; there will be hurdles and bad times, but good times too - you just have to stay focused. Dell Brand covers a long period of time from the early 1800s when Florence is young, to the 1850s after the death of Thomas, the twins' father. It's truly a family saga. Overall, the family saga and historical nature of the story first drew me in, but the characters kept me there until the end. It almost had me wishing I could have been there.
Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite A Voice to be Heard by Dell Brand chronicles the lives of two young Australian pioneer women, twins Josephine and Madeline Gower, who settle in the burgeoning city of Melbourne and begin a profitable hotel business. After suffering from a double tragedy as the twins lose both their mother and grandfather, the girls decide to break with the Victorian tradition of marriage and babies and head out into the wild frontier. The history of Melbourne serves as a rich backdrop as the lives and dramas of the two women unfold. A well developed historical drama, A Voice to be Heard is filled with strength, integrity, and the pioneer spirit. Being American, my knowledge of pioneer days is mostly limited to the American West, cowboys and Indians, so it was interesting to read another country's version of the pioneer drama, this time peppered with sheepherders and background Aboriginals. The backbone of A Voice to be Heard is Josephine, or Joey to her friends. She's the most outspoken and unconventional of the duo, putting most of their hotel plans into action and continually shocking what was considered polite Victorian society. She's very much the mainstream feminist and refuses to let her gender get in the way of buying and developing the land, as well as creating business opportunities for the influx of European settlers. With an ending that seems to promise a sequel, A Voice to be Heard is a novel that should enthrall mainstream feminists and Aussie history buffs alike.
Reviewed by Samantha Rivera for Readers' Favorite Joey and Maddy have risen above everything that could possibly be said of them to make a real name for themselves. As the illegitimate children of a housemaid and a rakish lord who never knew they existed, they had little chance for a happy life. Yet the love and generosity of their mother and the father of their own father has helped them to become more than just good people and beautiful young women - it has brought them to a level of personal freedom and wealth they could never have imagined. That wealth has also enabled them to do more with their lives than they ever thought, not only because of the money but because of the strength of character that is involved. A Voice to be Heard by Dell Brand is an excellent book to show all this and more. I have to say that I related a little more to Joey than Maddy since I’ve always been a bit of a firebrand myself. Still, these girls are the perfect characters in a story such as this because they are not only capable of overcoming adversity, but their own personal flaws as well. Things do not always go right for them and that’s what makes this story so great because you could see it actually happening to real people. I absolutely loved this book and would love to read even more about these girls and their friends, and of course the men they love. This is a true story, however, of what women can do without needing a man around to help them. This book was very well written. I loved the characters and I thought the plot line was absolutely wonderful.
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite A Voice to be Heard by Dell Brand is the story of two women who break with convention and live outside the rules set by the Victorian age. They leave their mark in Melbourne, the town where they live. Florence is pregnant with twins after being seduced by Thomas Luxford, her employer's son. He dumps her and Florence leaves the place to deliver her twins in Bedford. Joey and Maddy's paternal grandfather takes them in and gives them a home. When the twins turn nineteen, they lose both their mother and grandfather. On the advice of their solicitor, the twins leave the country to get the inheritance left for them by their grandfather. The book takes us through the lives of these two girls and their struggle for survival. The scene is set in the 1800s when the Victorian era was dominant. The author throws light on the scenario in Melbourne during that period. It takes readers through the labor problems, the aborigines, and the economic crisis that prevails in Melbourne during that time. The transformation of Melbourne to an important town also unfolds along with the theme of the story. The portrayal of Joey and Maddy is very powerful and strong and how they bring about a lasting change in traditional Australian society is very interesting to read. The author has packed a lot of information into this historical fiction. Many powerful plots and characters are woven together, making it a compelling story.
Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite Dell Brand’s A Voice to be Heard is set in 19th century England and Australia. First it follows the story of Florence, a servant girl in Standford Hall, who, despite her humble beginnings, develops a love for reading and learning. Seduced by Thomas Luxford, son of her employer, Sir Robert Luxford, the young girl gets pregnant. She escapes to Bedford and delivers twin girls, Joey and Maddy. Seemingly doomed to a life of poverty, Florence and the girls are saved by Sir Robert and they enjoy a quiet life, which will be abruptly interrupted by circumstances beyond their control. Deciding to leave for Australia, the now motherless twins go on a journey to a foreign land, not only to secure their inheritance, but also to find their places under the sun. A Voice to be Heard is a story about determined women who live during the Victorian Age, outside the fringes of society. Dell Brand’s heroines are extraordinary women who always manage, against all odds, to retain their dignity and to follow their dreams. The novel gives us a picture of English and Australian society during the 19th century. This is surely a time when women were not expected to assert themselves. This is also a period in Australia when there were a lot of exciting possibilities for pioneering endeavors. It is interesting to note that what is now the modern city of Melbourne used to be a struggling town, where floods and constant mud slides were normal occurrences. The author’s excellent descriptive style lets us experience their tragedies and successes, as these two women fulfill their dreams and, at the same time, make a mark in Australia’s colonial society. This book is an exciting read!