Our Australian Girl: Grace and Glory by Sofie Laguna (Published by Puffin Books Australia, June 27, 2011)
It's 1808, and after a long sea voyage from England on a convict ship, Grace has arrived in Australia, where she must work seven years as a servant before she will be freed. Grace is chosen by a young married couple, Tom and Beth, who are expecting a baby and need a servant to help on their farm in the Australian bush. Grace is happy to have found a home, and the fresh air of Australia is wonderful compared to the slums of London. However, she has never worked as a servant before and is worried about whether she will do a good job.
Beth is very kind to Grace and teaches her how to cook, clean, and care for the garden. However, Tom is suspicious of her, and nothing she does ever seems good enough for her. He also forbids her to stay away from his beautiful horse, Glory, which makes Grace sad because she has always loved horses. When Tom goes away to work, he leaves Grace to look after Beth, but will she be able to find help in time when Beth goes into labor?
Grace and Glory is the third of four books about Grace from the Our Australian Girl series. This series is part of a larger series called Our Australian Girl, which is a bit like the American Girls series, but set in Australia. Of the four girls from the series, Grace is my favorite. She is a very sympathetic charcater, since she had such a hard life in England, where she was an orphan and her uncle mostly left her to fend for herself in the streets, providing only a place for her to sleep at night. I can't wait to read the final book about Grace, A Home for Grace, which will be published in October 2011, so I can find out how her story concludes.