Author: Barbara Ewing
Take a journey to the past with Harriet. I am impressed by the way in which the author managed to take me into a fictional world that was so extremely historical. I wanted to reach out and save Harriet from the men in her life.
There were several pieces of history that made this book one of the best historical novels I have ever read. The first being the extreme impact of Cholera. They seemed so blind the sickness. When we look at today in comparison, the effect of Cholera seems so bizarre. We know now that we need clean water, yet in this book the waterways had the dead in them. But they believed their cleaning systems had it all under control. There is no way that we would put up with this in my country. My heart goes out to the people who still do not have clean water systems in their countries.
The second historical reference was the travel and relocation of citizens from London to New Zealand. A dream that transformed from excitement to reality as they entered the most beautiful country, but had to work the bush-lined landscape to start a new life there. Amongst the labour, where the native people who were being invaded by a new culture who would in time bring a culture that would change their country. I like the visionary writing. I have read and learnt much of the history of New Zealand. The country, is today a country of multi-cultures. It remains a beautiful country with bush, rivers and scenery that tourists flock to view and experience. Along side this beauty lies cities like any other westernised country. Upon reading this book I envisioned the dynamics of the people entering New Zealand, the travel experience, hardship, toil, dreams and shattered dreams. In the history books I have only really read of the native New Zealand experience. I liked experiencing the boat voyage and characters, as I journeyed with them across the seas to escape their world in search of a dream that was not the dream they envisioned but they hence, in time, created.
Thirdly, the women and men of the era! We have come such a long way in the way we treat women. I know there is still a way to travel in many societies and cultures, but in my country women have freedom and a voice. Harriet was procession of her father's, then a wanted procession of every man who entered her life. This dynamic amazed me and made me so angry. She was a women of strength and character. I wanted to reach out and save her but in reality she does this herself.... or does she?
If you get the opportunity to read this book, then do so. Take a look into the past, the present and envision the future. Where have we been and where do we go from here?
London 1840. The capital city is living in fear. Cholera is everwhere. Eminent MP Sir Charles Cooper decides it is too risky for his youngest daughter, the beautiful but troubled Harriet, and sends her to the countryside. Rusholme is a world way from London and full of extraordinary relations: Harriet's cousin Edward and his plans for a new life in New Zeland; the formidable Lady Knigdom and her two eligible sons.
Bu Rushholme offers only temporary respite. When Harriet returns home, London has become more dangerous than ever. Her health, her freedom, even her sanity, are under threat. Escape is essential. Can a young, powerless girl change her life? Has she any realisation that, if she does, more than one person will pursue her, literally, to the end of the world?
This was available from: Fispond, Amazon and Book depository