|"Orphaned and homeless at the age of sixteen, Kate Ryan is sent to the county workhouse at Balrothery where, after three years of picking oakum, she is offered the opportunity of a lifetime. To save on the cost of caring for them, the workhouse guardians are offering to pay for the passage of three young women to the new colonies in Australia, where there is a shortage of women. Tickets have already been booked for them on the largest passenger ship ever built - the Tayleur. It is a voyage that will change Kate's life forever." - Description from back of volume.