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A Journey to Joy cover

  • Keywords
    • Historical fiction,
    • Historical fiction romance,
    • Christian literature,
    • Fremantle Gaol,
    • Victorian England,
    • Western Australia,
    • Faith in God

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A Journey to Joy
by Nancy I. Young

“No,” said Bethany, taking a step back. Bethany Stillwater, a young heiress living in Victorian England, has her life forever altered the moment she refuses to give her stepbrother any more money from the family estate. Howard Stillwater, steeped in gambling debts, is outraged, and hatches a plan to have Bethany framed for theft. Through his manipulation of the justice system and Bethany’s trial, he has her sentenced to seven years in prison. Bethany soon finds herself sailing on a convict ship to Fremantle Gaol in colonial Australia, wondering why God has seemingly deserted her in her hour of need. Unbeknownst to Bethany, while she endures the hardships of living in a crowded steerage compartment, an acquaintance from London society, Samuel E. Yardley, is occupying a cabin just above her head. The second son of the Duke of Yardley, Sam is on his way to find sources of premium Australian wool for the British markets. As Bethany boards the ship, Sam catches a glimpse of her that intrigues him. But it also troubles him as he is certain he has seen her before. But where? Her presence is a mystery he would like to solve before their voyage has ended. However, that is not to be. Howard, meanwhile, will stop at nothing—not even murder—to ensure Bethany never returns to England. This would allow him to do as he wishes with Stillwater Estate, even if means selling it to pay off all his debts. Bethany continues to look to God for strength and hope, even when her faith is weakest. She finds peace and hope in Him, sharing the source of her hope with her fellow inmates. Confined to a dismal prison cell, her very life at stake, she prays for the day of her release, never dreaming the day will come sooner than expected. A Journey to Joy is a missive of God’s grace and mercy, and an inspiring love story that will capture readers’ hearts and leave them wanting more.

Nancy I. Young has been a poet and storyteller all her life, but it wasn’t until she retired from a nursing career in 2013 that she started to write down her stories. She has published two previous books with FriesenPress: Love: A Viking’s Heart (2021) and Alva’s Redemption (2022). Her unwavering faith and trust in God are central to her writing, and she prays that her readers will experience Him in their own lives. She lives in Calgary, Alberta, just an hour’s drive east of the magnificent Rocky Mountains. Learn more at


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