The problem with Hannah Kent’s debut, Burial Rites, is that it set the bar for historical fiction very high. Really, so high you can barely imagine. Look up into the sky, as far as your eye goes, and then look a little a further – Burial Rites is somewhere a bit further than that again.
And so I sat down with Eleanor Limprecht’s Long Bay, a fictionalised account of the life of Rebecca Sinclair, a woman who was sent to Long Bay Women’s Reformatory in 1909 after she was convicted of manslaughter for a botched abortion. Rebecca was sentenced to three years hard labour, but less than six months into her prison term she gave birth to a child, who she kept with her in prison. Continue reading