New book offers glimpse into early Australian history

Share Article

Debut author Janet Akroyd-Stuart recreates life in penal communities of 18th century New South Wales.

News Image

LAWNTON, Australia – Janet Akroyd-Stuart marks her debut in the world of literature with the release of her first novel, “Half a World Away” (published by Xlibris AU). In her first book, Akroyd-Stuart seamlessly blends history and fiction to recreate life in the penal colony of 18th century New South Wales.

“Half a World Away” introduces readers to a cast of colorful characters including Ryan Baxter, a convict serving a seven-year sentence for rallying the poor against their employers. Ryan finds himself in another situation when the penal colony decides to hang a convict suspected of pilfering food. Ryan is unconvinced of the verdict and sets out to prove the convict’s innocence, knowing little of the dangerous repercussions of his actions.

Akroyd-Stuart shares that she wrote this book to give readers an idea of the harsh realities present in Australia’s early settlements. Her work is also an interesting character study, offering insight into the causes behind her characters’ behaviors and ultimate fate.

Suffused with the zeitgeist of 18th century New South Wales, “Half a World Away” is a gripping story of survival, hope and redemption set in one of the most turbulent times in Australian history.

“Half a World Away”
By Janet Akroyd-Stuart
Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 308 pages | ISBN 9781503501690
Softcover | 6 x 9in | 308 pages | ISBN 9781503501683
E-Book | 308 pages | ISBN 9781503501676
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Janet Akroyd-Stuart was born in Stapleford, Nottingham, United Kingdom, in 1943. She migrated to Brisbane, Australia, with her parents and younger sister in 1953. She has been married for 47 years and has two daughters and four grandchildren. Retired for some years now, she is currently into her third year of a four year art course with U3A (University of the Third Age.)

Xlibris Publishing Australia, an Author Solutions, LLC imprint, is a self-publishing services provider dedicated to serving Australian authors. By focusing on the needs of creative writers and artists and adopting the latest print-on-demand publishing technology and strategies, we provide expert publishing services with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full-color formats. To date, Xlibris has helped to publish more than 60,000 titles.For more information, visit or call 1800 455 039 to receive a free publishing guide. Follow us @XlibrisAus on Twitter for the latest news.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Marketing Services
+61 1800455039
Email >
Visit website