Frances Irvine is a young woman who is about to lose everything. When her father dies she’s left with two choices: neither one optimal. She can go live with her aunt in a cramped house full of brats, or, she can accept a marriage proposal from a young man she barely knows, let alone loves.
What’s a girl to do? Frances decides to choose the best of the two evils. Off she goes to South Africa on board a sailing ship. This is 1880. Sailing is no small feat. And this sea voyage is full of scandal and gossip. Plus, she meets a man she falls in love with.
When Frances lands in Africa she quickly discovers that her life is not going to be at all what she had pictured. Instead her husband the doctor is embracing his ideals.
McVeigh brings us a story of greed and racism amidst the diamond mines of South Africa. Most of us know something about this, but nothing fully formed. When a small pox epidemic breaks out among the workers in the mines, everything changes for Frances. Her fragile world has burst wide open.
In the Kimberly labor camps the pox is raging. And the founder of de Beers denies it all. It is a known fact that this did, indeed, occur. How I love learning history from good novels. This horrendous happening will change the way you look at your diamonds forever!
What might have been a lighter romance turns out to be an informative and well-written saga in the same vein as GONE WITH THE WIND or THE THORN BIRDS. Don’t miss this one.
My review copy came from Berkley Publishers. Thanks guys.