|A Brief history of Montmaray (Random House, 2008)|
The story is about a royal family, very minor and now almost destitute, who cling to their island home despite the fact most of their subjects have settled in England. Sophie FitzOsborne is the central character and she writes her diary with wit and attention to detail. Her cousin Veronica is a formidable young woman who spends most of her time reading through history books; that's where the title comes from.
The setting is bleak and isolated but the FitzOsborne girls love their island home and don't want to leave it. When circumstances force them to rethink their plans the story evolves into a gripping battle to survive the elements and the enemy.
Although this is a historical novel I think the author has struck a good balance between creating an authentic past and maintaining a modern pace. I thoroughly enjoyed this book but with so much emphasis on women and girls, young men might not enjoy it so much. A Brief History of Montmaray won the 2009 Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature.