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Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh

Set in the late 1800’s we follow Frances’s metamorphous from a spoilt child, into a capable woman, from when her father dies, though her passage to Africa and beyond, to having to choose husband or lover. We follow not only her trials and tribulations but also the love story. Oh boy what a love story!

McVeigh really has captured the essence of the period in this beautiful, exciting, descriptive novel. The vocabulary paints a picture with her words, the sights, smells and emotions are all here, in the same fashion as Bronte, Hardy and Gaskell would have conveyed.  However, she has one modern skill of editing, and therefore the book is not long winded where it’s not required. She also has us on the edge of our seats reading speedily to keep up with the pace and to know what happened next.

McVeigh made me care about Francis, Edwin and William and all of the other characters. I appreciated the hardships that the drought and the smallpox epidemic in 1878 would have caused in South Africa. I also felt the desperation for rain, and the consequences if it does not come in time. 

This novel left me with a thirst for McVeigh’s next book, and also for the next chapter in Frances’s life. I want to know what happened next.

The Commuting Bookworm 03/01/12

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