Romance in your heart and a degree of interest in how women have changed their world over the past several generations – this wonderful way of being and intriguing social development are the centerpiece this story is woven around. It is woven expertly. We experience late 19th century New Zealand through magical imagery – the use of metaphor is amazing. This book is crafted intelligently and beautifully.
It is also real and true to life, not over-dramatized. The struggle our heroine faces is within herself. There are the expectations of society, which stand firmly in the way of romance. Anna is not rebellious, though. She believes in and upholds the social values, even though at a depth she FEELS differently. What of love in the face of duty and tradition? This conflict is powerful within her. It threatens to defeat her. Her human flaws have her seeking refuge in the anti-depressant remedies of the day… Our heroine is far from perfect. She strikes me as intriguingly real.
Will she find strength and rise above? Will she take a step along the difficult and powerfully transforming path women have walked over recent generations? I was enthralled by the telling of this story. I was particularly impressed by the harsh reality of the resolution. Again, it hits hard with the truth. It took utter desperation for Anna to make her choice. There was an awful lot riding on it. Either way, the consequences were going to be extreme.
Happily ever after? I strongly recommend reading to find out. You will meet some other richly interesting and well depicted characters along the way. The hero will tempt you with his raw ideals and charisma, but will ultimately win you with his grasp of love and respect. The domineering sister is genuine in her concern for Anna’s youth having slipped away and her seriously diminished potential for attracting a suitor. The suitor Anna attracts and who earns the approval of her family is also a product of the time – appallingly so…
In conclusion, I want to again mention the imagery. The setting is delivered vividly to all of our senses. This compliments an excellent story.