Mrs Jewell and the Wreck of the General Grant

Sanders, Cristina

  5 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.

Comments from BDS Reviewers

"An absorbing and well-written story."

"A wonderful NZ writer. This story is part of our history."

"The account of the sinking ship is heart-rending. Very well written."

"Despite the sadness of the loss of life, this is an amazing story."

"The atmosphere, often brooding and suspicious, is convincing."

"There are sufficient plot developments to maintain the interest and keep you reading."

"A flawless writing style. The author conveys the emotions very well."

"The writer develops the scenario very realistically with the formal language of the day."

"Fourteen men and one woman survived the sinking. Imagine, as a woman, being stranded on an island with fourteen men!"



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.