Bonnie Leon’s interview

» Posted on Oct 9, 2008 in Blog | Comments Off on Bonnie Leon’s interview

If you want to be entered in the drawing for Bonnie’s book, please leave a comment with your email address or email me at The drawing ends Sunday night.

The interview of Bonnie’s heroine from Longings of the Heart:

1. Hannah, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

I don’t see myself as especially interesting. I was born in London to a middle class family. My father was a fine man who worked hard. Sadly, he died when I was a girl. I still miss him.

After his death Mum opened a dress shop. I worked with her and loved creating grand gowns for the ladies of London. We were happy, Mum and me, and then she died of the fever. I guess you could say that’s when my life took a turn. Business fell off at the shop and I had to go to work for a London magistrate. He was a terrible man. I still can’t bear to speak of him.

I guess the only thing special about me is that I’m educated. Mum believed that girls should know more than sewing and cooking or how to set a fine table. She made certain I went to school regularly at the church near our home.

2. What do you do for fun?

There’s not a lot of time for fun. Days are taken up with work. But I do like to play chess now and again. John says I’m quite good. And I love parties, especially if there’s dancing. And it’s grand day, indeed, when I have time to turn a splendid piece of fabric into a lovely gown for a friend or one of the prisoners at the Female Factory. I’ve a good hand with a needle and thread.

3. What are you afraid of most in life?

I’m not as courageous as I’d like to be, not like my friend Lydia, whom I dare say is not afraid of anything. I have two great fears. One is that John will learn the truth about my past and when I look into his eyes, instead of love I will see loathing. I’ve hidden a terrible sin from him. I don’t dare speak of it. The other fear is tied to the first, and that is that God will withhold the blessing of children from me. I shan’t hold it against Him. I deserve to be disciplined and I will accept His judgment, whatever it may be.

4. What do you want out of life?

The thing I crave most is a child of my own. Lottie, was like my own. We met on the prison ship. She was just a little mite when her mother died. She needed someone to look after her. We bonded right away and helped each other during that dreadful crossing. She’s a dear child.

A family in Parramatta adopted her. I’m thankful for that, but I do miss her terribly.

5. What is the most important thing to you?

That I live a life worthy of God’s mercy and love. For so long I doubted anyone could love me, not even God. Now I know the truth, that He loves me just as I am. My mistress, Mrs. Atherton, helped me understand that there is no sin too great for God to forgive.

I was so desperate to know the truth. I pray I will be a living example of God’s grace, and always be prepared to tell other lost souls how much they are loved.

6. Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

I read my Bible nearly every day. God’s Word is my spiritual food, without it I would certainly starve in that regard.

I do enjoy reading poetry, now and again. And I actually have a book written by William Wordsworth. His poetry inspires thought.

7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I so admire Mrs. Atherton. She’s a truly great lady. Although she’s a high born, she’s gracious and kind. And she has the faith of a saint. I would very much like to be like her, a person of great faith. I struggle so to trust God’s plans for me.
As to my physical appearance I should like to change my hair. It’s far too thin and I’d prefer it were a deep chocolate brown rather than the plain brown God gave me.

8. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

I’m not certain a working sheep dog is a pet, but Jackson is a fine dog. I do love and admire him very much. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a dog better behaved or so intelligent.

9. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I’d go back to the days when I was a girl. My mum and dad were so happy. They loved each other and they loved me. Dad always came home from work wearing a smile. He’d scoop me up in his strong arms and hold me, asking about my day. Sometimes he’d bring home a piece of candy.

He’d set me down real gentle and go Mum, giving her a kiss and a hug. Some days he’d dance her about the house. They’d laugh. It always made me feel happy inside to watch them.

And summers were grand. We’d take picnics in the country. I loved those days when we’d leave the filth of the city behind. My favorite thing to do was to lie in the grass beneath a big tree and just stare up through the branches. I can still smell the sweetness of the grass and hear the birds singing.

Those were grand times.

10. What do you put off doing because you dread it?

I’m not one to put things off, but I do truly detest firearms. When John and I moved to the farm I knew it was prudent to learn to use a weapon. And although I tried to put it out of my mind, I was finally forced to face my fear after an encounter with an aborigine. After that, I knew it must be done.
The whole idea of handling a pistol frightened me, but John is a splendid teacher. He showed me exactly how much powder to put in and how to load the shot and then pull the striker back and sight it in. It took a bit of practice, but I learned. If need be I’m competent enough to protect myself.