Mrs Jewell and the Wreck of the General Grant [NZ]

Sanders, Cristina

  13 Reviews

The passengers and crew who set sail on the General Grant in 1866 were only expecting a three-month voyage from Melbourne to London via Cape Horn, but disaster strikes and the ship founders on the subantarctic Auckland Islands with much loss of life.

Among the fifteen survivors, rumours of bullion aboard the ship as well as the gold being carried by the passengers result in shifting allegiances and complex social dynamics.

The only woman among the survivors, Mary Ann Jewell is the narrator for this historically grounded story of endurance, of the gruelling conditions faced by the castaways and just what they needed to do to survive.



Every person thought this book was well researched and very well-written. Excellent portrayals and interactions of characters. Best book we've read this year.
Everyone enjoyed this. We spent a lot of time discussing what was fact and what was fiction! A tale well told.
AUCK 335
Everyone enjoyed this book. The narrative was gripping, the characters well-drawn, and the descriptions of life on board ship, the wreck, and the inhospitable island were all very realistic. Mrs Jewell was a memorable character.
TWIZ 003
We all really enjoyed it.
AUCK 422
An extraordinary book, and well imagined retelling of a true story. Well developed characters - the focus on the sole female gave an authentic perspective on the struggle for survival.
ROTO 006
An interesting historical story written from a woman's point of view - very rare! Made us take a look at history - and also at how we would survive, if it happened to modern women!
KAIK 001
Great yarn - we all loved it.
Everyone in the group enjoyed the book. The story (based on facts) of a shipwreck where many drowned, but 15 survivors managed to survive in extremely harsh conditions for 18 months before eventual rescue. The story alone is worth studying, but the author managed to do a wonderful job of fleshing out the characters also. Told in the 1st person by Mrs Jewell.
We enjoyed this book - strong character development, good psychological insights, and well-written in a Victorian style consistent with the era of the novel. We did considerable research into the Auckland Islands as a result.
GISB 012
Our group loved this book based on the wreck of the General Grant off the Auckland Islands. Gripping account of the event and subsequent year and a half stranded in an unforgiving environment. Resilience plus! Good characters and characterisation. A page turner prompting much discussion.
TAUR 004
One of our members has recently visited the Auckland Islands and had some photos. An easy read of an interesting event in N.Z. history, dramatised by fictional character development. Perhaps a little drawn out, though I guess this captured the waiting for rescue.
CHCH 518
We all loved this book. It was very well researched and well-written. The characters were believable and the story would make a wonderful movie. A writer to watch for in the future.
TAUR 005
Our members found this novel a most enjoyable read. We particularly enjoyed the characters and their authenticity. We found and appreciated the insight into the survival skills needed for those 18 months on the Auckland Islands.