The Currency Lass is a dramatic story about a young woman who runs away to join the circus. The eponymous character is Catherine Cottingham, an independent young woman who is orphaned on the verge of her 21st birthday. Her philanthropist father has passed away and left her riddled with a saddlebag of debt. This then leaves her with a tough decision- to marry the horrible but wealthy Henry Bartholomew or to bide her time and inherit the family estate as the sole female heir.
Over the course of several hundred pages historical fiction writer, Tea Cooper has crafted a delightful slice of Australiana and a book that shares a few things in common with the work of Bryce Courtenay. Cottingham is an inspiring character and a determined woman who shows a natural aptitude for horse-riding. In joining the circus she develops a sense of freedom and empowerment, which is a far cry from the potential alternative she faces. Along the line she also forges friendships with the other circus performers, including the handsome, Sergey Petrov. The question is, will she be able to keep up the act for long enough?
Cooper has crafted quite a rich and detailed book that blends together facts about Australia in the 19th century as well as fictional characters and elements. The reader is treated to a well-constructed and believable story that is brimming with interesting, believable and well-formed characters. The Currency Lass is ultimately an epic slice of Australian, historic fiction and one that proves to be worth its weight in gold.
***Please note: a free copy of this book was given to the writer through a Beauty & Lace giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit: http://bookgirl.beautyandlace.net/book-club-the-currency-lass