In South Africa, the Vaal River divides Theo, the English sugar plantation owner, from Lizzie, the Dutch orphan girl he finds in the Transvaal. When the second war between the Cape Colony and the Boers breaks out, Theo and Lizzie are on opposite sides. Theo is bound to do what Cecil orders, and Lizzie is promised to Louis, the Boer leader. Without his mistress Vala and his friend Harish, all could be lost when Theo crosses the Vaal.
©2015 Archie Vincent (P)2015 Archie Vincent
Melanie Fraser's clear tone of voice made this most enjoyable. She was able to add appropriate accents to the characters which reflected the setting and highlighted the various nationalities.
I found the historical references to the treatment of women during the Anglo-Boer War to be very interesting. It has inspired me to read up more on the social history of this time period.
I also liked the author's vivid descriptions of the landscape and the people in it. Having never been to South Africa, the descriptions helped me paint a picture of the setting in my head.
For a short story, there are a lot of characters. I was able to keep all the players clear in my head because of the way the narrator differentiates between them with tone of voice and accent.
"It might be a perfect afternoon"
Okay, admittedly, not my genre. I grabbed it because I am hooked on the narrator, Melanie Fraser. Her voice is like honey dripped over lilacs. I thought the story was okay. It told a wonderful themed romance set in South Africa. I do think that readers (and listeners) of a good romantic adventure will be hooked and hauled in by this story. It is vivid and descriptive and really pulls you into the landscape and setting. I can't vault the storyteller just because the tale is not in my genre of interest. There is a real talent here.
"Engaging Novel Excellent Read"
The author was able to develop the characters in a detailed way in a very short time The pace of the novel is quick and you can get lost in the wonderful descriptions of South Africa. The book transports the reader to another place and another time. Very enjoyable.
Ms. Fraser was excellent. Her treatment of the characters was quite involved. I would have thought that it was several different people narrating!
Yes, if I had the time I surely would have.
"Wonderful short historical"
--I was given a copy of the audiobook for an honest review.
This is not a typical listen for me, historical romances that revolve around war are hard for me to get into. This was not the case with this book. From the beginning, the descriptions of the country and the relationships between the characters kept me interest. I love the scene with Lizzie on her horse, she certainly knows how to get the interest of her man.
As the story progresses and you learn more of the treatment of women during the Anglo-Boer War, it intrigued me, as I was unaware of how it was. I am now on google, learning more about the history of South Africa. I think this is something that shows how good the story way to provoke thought and learning. The romance is what really always catches my ears, and I love the story with Lizzie and Louis.
Melanie Fraser gives us an amazing performance. She is able to distinguish between country dialects, accents and characters so that even this short, with so many characters, you are able to keep track of who is speaking. She never lets me down when I have a book by her.
"Okay Historical Fiction lacking Substance"
This book had the potential to be at least a 4 star book however it was too skeletal and lacked substance and development. It needed to be at least twice as long.
The story takes place in South Africa just prior to and during the second Boer War. With the discovery of gold in the Transvaal which was one of the fuses which ignited the war.
The story was okay however it was a bit confusing. One needs to pay close attention to the book as it is easy to miss major points and these points are not repeated nor reiterated. This is not a good book to listen to while multi-tasking. For example one major character, Vala has visions of the past and present. At first I didn't grasp this and then became confused with scenes that seemed out of place. The history seems fairly accurate however I feel a more detailed historical background should of been provided as it would of made the events more clearer.
There was a very good scene describing the horrendous conditions as well as the British reasons and philosophy for the concentration camps which housed Boar women and children. A character, a female British reporter call Millie Hobsome took pictures of the camps to expose the conditions to the British public. I found it interesting that fictional character had a name closely resembling the British female activist Emily Hobhouse who was the historical figure who actually exposed and brought to British public's attention the conditions of the camps.
The book is good though short and in my opinion skeletal and underdeveloped. It is well written and well narrated.
This book was given to me by the narrator in exchange for a honest review.
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