Black Forest Redemption by Amanda Deed is a historical fiction novel set at the time of the Eureka Stockade in Ballarat. It concerns two young people who are kidnapped and held for ransom. Both characters are dealing with significant issues of purpose and direction for their life when they are kidnapped. This complicates their ordeal and their relationship with each other.

I have lived in the area where the story was set (but not during this time frame!) so it was particularly interesting to me to read about places I knew well. I also enjoyed the historical content which surprised me. I learnt about this period of Australian history at school and found it very dull but reading it from the perspective of a person’s living through it made it come alive.

The story creates genuine tension and intrigue. It is well written and well paced. Towards the end I did find the prayer thing a bit overdone, but that might just be personal taste or perhaps I just don’t pray enough!

Overall it was a great story.