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The Fever Tree (2013)

by Jennifer McVeigh

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3804849,193 (3.63)38
South Africa, 1880. Frances Irvine, destitute in the wake of her father's sudden death, is forced to abandon her life of wealth and privilege in London and emigrate to the Cape. In this remote and inhospitable land she becomes entangled with two very different men, leading her into the dark heart of the diamond mines. Torn between passion and integrity, she makes a choice that has devastating consequences.… (more)
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English (47)  French (1)  All languages (48)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
I was up all night finishing this book. I loved it. I went from man to man just like Frances.
( )
  Booknerd2 | Mar 21, 2018 |
I read another book by this author and loved it so I wanted to read this novel but I was a little disappointed. This book did not pull me in the way the other book did and I really did not like the main character. she was snobby and selfish. I could see difficulties she was enduring but really could not bring myself to feel very sorry for her because of her attitudes.I won't say this book was bad I just did not love it. ( )
  Thelmajean | May 20, 2017 |
My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Dec 19, 2016 |
In my opinion The Fever Tree is slightly better than a romance novel because of the historic content such as the smallpox epidemic in Kimberly, South Africa, the diamond smuggling and the drought. Frances is left penniless and without family or options. her only choice to marry a man she does not love and join him in South Africa. She travels by ship, meets a handsome stranger who she falls for but he leaves her at the dockside and off she goes to the barren wilderness to her husband to be Edwin. Edwin is silent but more of a man than Frances realizes. This part of the novel is rather silly but as I said , the historic aspects are there. In the end Frances learns a lot about herself and realizes after running away with William that he is a brute and a coward and the husband she left, a good , honest and upright man. Off she goes to get him back and after suffering as a maid in a Boer household, Edwin comes back for her. The end. ( )
  Smits | Apr 7, 2016 |
During the late nineteenth-century, South Africa is a country rife with unrest and torn apart by greed. Socialite Frances Irvine is rendered destitute in the wake of her father's sudden death and forced to abandon her life of wealth and privilege in London, in favor of emigration to the Southern Cape of Africa. Shunned by polite society and cast aside by her titled relatives, Frances reluctantly accepts a marriage proposal from a man she previously rejected - a man she is not even certain she could ever like, let alone love.

South Africa in 1880 is a remote and inhospitable land, yet Frances is absolutely amazed by the amount of personal freedom that she finds there. While she lived in London, Frances had once thought herself horribly constrained by the rules of society; grudgingly accepting her position, but unable to break out of the situation. Her life in South Africa is so different from life as she knew it in London; filled with a dangerously enticing freedom that Frances has never experienced before.

In this brutal and unknown land, Frances will become entangled with two very different men - one driven by his ideals, the other by his ambition. Edwin Matthews is a distant cousin - a serious, but dedicated doctor who makes his living in the diamond fields of South Africa. He is a careful man, determined to do whatever he can to get ahead in life. To Frances' mind, Edwin is taking blatant advantage of her reduced circumstances; and she is convinced that his sudden interest in her is largely due to her dramatic fall in fortune, rather than any sense of romantic feelings for her.

Reluctantly traveling by steamship to South Africa to be married, Frances is abruptly thrown in to the company of William Westbrook. William is the polar opposite of Edwin, and Frances is absolutely enchanted by him from their first meeting. He is a dashing and ambitious diamond trader, whose tales of his thrilling exploits capture Frances' imagination. Magnetically attractive, spontaneous and courageous, William is everything that Edwin is not, and she is swept away by an intoxicating, all-consuming love. Stunned by the strength of her attraction, Frances secretly begins to hope that she has found a viable alternative to a loveless marriage with Edwin.

However, Frances' idyllic dreams are suddenly met by harsh, unvarnished reality. Removed from civilization and disillusioned by her isolation, she soon finds herself living in the middle of a tremendous dilemma - forced to choose between passion and integrity. Her choice has the potential to change her life forever. South Africa is not quite the colonial paradise that Frances expected it might be - the desolate, seemingly barren landscape does contain a certain hidden beauty - but nothing else is as it seems.

Only when the rumor of a smallpox epidemic takes Frances into the dark heart of the diamond mines does she see her true path to happiness. She soon realizes that she has so much to learn about herself, as well as this strange new land. This strange land that has become her home.

Despite this story's initially slow pace, I still very much enjoyed reading it. In my opinion, the story was slightly difficult to get into and I found that it dragged slightly in certain parts. Once I got past the slow points though, the pace picked up considerably and I really got into the story. I appreciated reading about the mining conditions of South Africa, and was stunned by the brutal reality of the colonial era. I would give this book an A! ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Jan 28, 2016 |
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South Africa, 1880. Frances Irvine, destitute in the wake of her father's sudden death, is forced to abandon her life of wealth and privilege in London and emigrate to the Cape. In this remote and inhospitable land she becomes entangled with two very different men, leading her into the dark heart of the diamond mines. Torn between passion and integrity, she makes a choice that has devastating consequences.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0670920894, 0670920908

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