The Literature Hub
Reviewed by Ashleigh
Author: Deborah Challinor
Publisher & Pages: HarperCollins, 495 pages
Blurb: When Tamar Deane is orphaned at seventeen in a small Cornish Village, she seizes the chance for a new life and emigrates to New Zealand.
In March 1879, alone and frightened on the Plymouth quay, she is befriended by an extraordinary woman. Myrna McTaggart is travelling to Auckland with plans to establish the finest brothel in the southern hemisphere and her unconventional friendship proves invaluable when Tamar makes disastrous choices in the new colony. Tragedy and scandal befall her, but unexpected good fortune brings vast changes to Tamar’s life. As the century draws to a close, uncertainty looms when a distant war lures her loved ones to South Africa.
This dramatic story – the first in a sweeping three-volume family saga – has a vivacious and compelling heroine who will live with the reader long after the final page has been turned.
Highlight: It’s historically accurate.
Caution: It seems like two different books in one.
Highlight: The first half of the book hooks you in and makes you want to read more.
Caution: The second half of the book sometimes skips months at a time.
Reviewed by Ashleigh
Author: Emma Blair
Publisher & Pages: Michael Joseph Ltd / Sphere Books Ltd / Warner Books / Time Warner Paperbacks, 503 pages
Blurb: For Sarah Hawke, daughter of an impoverished miner, life offered little beyond the grime of Glasgow in the 1890s and the eternal drudgery of back-breaking work. Until a mysterious stranger entered her life. A stranger who turned out to be her real father – and the owner of a vast and prosperous shipping empire…
Catapulted into a world of luxury, of servants and stately homes, Sarah begins a new and glittering life. As sole heiress to a fortune, she has much to gain – and everything to lose. For she takes over the business, and with it the risk and rivalry, deceit and intrigue – and the prospect of undying love…
From Scotland to Paris, from Jamaica to South Africa, Sarah charms – and fights – her way to success against all odds. For she is dealing in a man’s world, whilst the only way to succeed is to be A MOST DETERMINED WOMAN.
Highlight: Sarah Hawke is a strong, independent character, the kind of woman that teenage girls should look up to and aspire to be.
Caution: This book seemed to be plot-less.
Highlight: I didn’t have to think much while reading this book.
Caution: The book carried on far longer than it needed to.