I'm rather surprised to see several two star ratings for this excellent book. Were we reading the same thing? I absolutely loved this!
servant girl accompanies two young ladies to New Zealand in their
gentlewomanly pursuit of husbands. In a Cinderella -like twist, the
servant girl Briar sneaks into a masked ball where they're doing the
ancient wedding dance and lands herself a husband. Unfortunately for
her, it was not the man she was aiming to snag, and unfortunately for
him, she was wearing her mistress's gown and he also got the wrong girl.
he needs a wife and she wants a home so they decide to go through with
it and this is where the story really cranks it up a notch.
Saul and Briar seethe with an intense hatred/ begrudging admiration for
eachother, their biggest challenge isnt their loveless marriage but
where they decide to set up home; for Saul lives in a remote region
where the Maori are warring with the settlers and those they tomahawk
and kill, they eat in their ceremonies...
I found this a gripping read and so real
as to human nature and emotions. I could feel the agonizing
frustrations of both Saul and Briar and while I wanted them to "sort
things out" and be happy, the story was realistic. True understanding
and appreciation take time and is all the sweeter when it arrives.
Lovers of Emma Drummond, M.M. Kaye and Catherine Gaskin would like this!
SEX: Fade to black but perhaps a little mature for young readers.
VIOLENCE: Maori warring, some descriptions of their ceremonies and "feasts".
MY RATING: PG-13 for sexual content and disturbing imagery