I agree with the review by Reads-a-Lot. It is a powerful well-researched but very bleak novel telling of the realities of women prisoners sent to what is now Tasmania and the trials they suffered in prison there. It intertwines the story of an aborigine girl, the daughter of a king. She is an orphan, living in a town where her people were forced to live and was brought by the governor's wife to "civilize" her.
The notes at the end and the books and other materials used to research and write this book are impressive. Someday I would like to read some of them.