Set in Sydney Cove in 1790 this story revolves around the life and hardships experienced by Elizabeth Harvey as she struggles to survive in a time where food is lacking and disease and crime are on the increase. Lizzie, as she is known, was convicted stealing a linen gown and a silk bonnet worth 7 shillings and transported to Australia on the First Fleet. After trading two onions for a journal, her diary begins. She is employed as a domestic servant on Henry Dodd's farm at Rose Hill. Lizzie intends to post this diary to her younger brother Edward who lives in the Cotswolds in England. As they have been parted these last four years, the entries interweave how she came to be in Botany Bay and present day happenings. She ends up working for a surgeon and looking after his motherless daughter Emily. She is thirteen and how different her life is to that of a thirteen year old Australian girl these days.
This film clip will give readers a background to the book: