Tuesday, September 29, 2020

131. The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline

listened on Libby, borrowed from the library
narrated by Caroline Lee 
Unabridged audio (10:17)
370 pgs.
Adult Historical Fiction
Finished 9/29/20
Goodreads rating: 4.23 - 3284 ratings
My rating: 4.5
Setting: 1840s Britain, on ship from Britain to Tasmania, and Tasmania

First line/s: "By the time the rains came, Mathinna had been hiding in the bush for nearly two days."

What I posted on Goodreads:  4.5 A wonderful, though bleak, historical fiction about three women in the 1840s British penal colony which is now Tasmania in Australia. 

(I felt that the nondisclosure of ending for one of the major characters was a bit disconcerting, thus the erasure of half a point from a full-fledged five.)

Goodreads synopsis:  The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant novel that captures the hardship, oppression, opportunity and hope of a trio of women’s lives in nineteenth-century Australia.
          Seduced by her employer’s son, Evangeline, a na├»ve young governess in early nineteenth-century London, is discharged when her pregnancy is discovered and sent to the notorious Newgate Prison. After months in the fetid, overcrowded jail, she learns she is sentenced to “the land beyond the seas,” Van Diemen’s Land, a penal colony in Australia. Though uncertain of what awaits, Evangeline knows one thing: the child she carries will be born on the months-long voyage to this distant land.
          During the journey on a repurposed slave ship, the Medea, Evangeline strikes up a friendship with Hazel, a girl little older than her former pupils who was sentenced to seven years transport for stealing a silver spoon. Canny where Evangeline is guileless, Hazel -- a skilled midwife and herbalist – is soon offering home remedies to both prisoners and sailors in return for a variety of favors.
          Though Australia has been home to Aboriginal people for more than 50,000 years, the British government in the 1840s considers its fledgling colony uninhabited and unsettled, and views the natives as an unpleasant nuisance. By the time the Medea arrives, many of them have been forcibly relocated, their land seized by white colonists. One of these relocated people is Mathinna, the orphaned daughter of the Chief of the Lowreenne tribe, who has been adopted by the new governor of Van Diemen’s Land.
          In this gorgeous novel, Christina Baker Kline brilliantly recreates the beginnings of a new society in a beautiful and challenging land, telling the story of Australia from a fresh perspective, through the experiences of Evangeline, Hazel, and Mathinna. While life in Australia is punishing and often brutally unfair, it is also, for some, an opportunity: for redemption, for a new way of life, for unimagined freedom.           Told in exquisite detail and incisive prose, The Exiles is a story of grace born from hardship, the unbreakable bonds of female friendships, and the unfettering of legacy.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Baked Crab Rangoons


8 oz. cream cheese (low-fat)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 T Paprika
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. soy sauce
8 oz. crabmeat
36 - 40 wonton wrappers

  • Beat cream cheese and mayo, then add remaining ingredients, folding in the crabmeat.  
  • Spoon 2 teaspoons filling into the center of a wonton wrapper.  Cover remaining wrappers with a damp paper towel until ready to use.  
  • Moisten wrapper edges with water.  
  • Fold opposite sides over filling, pressing centers together to seal.  Repeat with remaining sides, making a four-pointed star.  
  • Place on an ungreased baking sheet.  
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 18 min.

Crockpot Beef Stew

1 lb. stew beef cubes
4 carrots, sliced up or baby carrots, your choice
4 potatoes, chunked up
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 bag frozen peas (I use green beans instead, hate peas)
I like to add onions, too....

Spray bottom of crockpot with cooking spray.  Layer the beef, carrots, potatoes.  Mix remaining ingredients and pour over top.  Spread evenly.

Cook for 7 - 10 hours.  
Serve with bread.

From Six Sisters.

Crockpot Dump Cake Apple Cobbler

1 20-oz. can apple pie filling (or even another flavor!
1 box yellow cake mix
6 T. melted butter

Dump apple pie filling into the bottom of the slow cooker.  Dump the cake mix, evenly, over the apples. Spoon the butter over the cake mix.  Don't mix!!

Cook on high for 4 hours.

Have the vanilla ice cream ready so that as soon as you spoon it out of the slow cooker the ice cream will melt and you'll have lusciousness ready to fill your taste buds.

From Six Sisters.

Friday, September 25, 2020

8-Can Taco Soup

Serves 6

1 15-oz can black beans (drained & rinsed)
1 15-oz can pinto beans (drained & rinsed)
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz. can corn (drained)
1 12.5 oz. can chicken breast (drained)
1 10.75 oz. can cream of chicken soup
1 10-oz. can green enchilada sauce
1 14-oz. can chicken broth
1 1-oz pkg. taco seasoning

Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
Pour in all ingredients and stir together
Cook on low heat for 2-3 hours.

Serve with sprinkled-on cheese and taco chips.


To make this a quick and easy freezer meal, pour all ingredients into a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Lay bag flat in the freezer. When ready to use, remove bag from the freezer and place in the fridge and let it thaw for 24 hours. Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Dump all the ingredients from the bag into slow cooker and stir together. Cook on low heat for 2-3 hours. Serve with shredded cheese and tortilla chips. Makes 6 servings.

This comes from the Six Sisters site.