By R. I. Maddams.
In the winter of 1864, Daniel Phillips was out of work and out of love in his home village of Great Hadham. In desperation, and seeking a way out, he fired a barley stack, knowing he would face transportation on a convict ship bound for Australia. This work of historical fiction is based on the real person and crime of Daniel Phillips. The story begins during a recent Christmas day, when two children were shown a letter, written by Daniel shortly before his departure on a convict ship. The story continues following Daniel's life from the day of his crime, to life after receiving his ticket-of-leave. During this time he encounters many highs and lows on his epic journey. Highs when situations dramatically turn to work in his favour, and lows, as he battles with waves of anxiety and depression, brought on by the harsh conditions he suffers as a convict, and separation from his family. Will Daniel's drastic action result in him gaining the better life he dreamed of, and will he find the happiness and love he so longed for?