The Fever Tree
June 23, 2017
ROMANCE, HISTORICAL FICTION, WOMEN'S FICTION
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I started reading The Fever Tree without really knowing anything about it, and I am so glad I did. This novel by Jennifer McVeigh is one of the most compelling stories I've read in a long time. Frances Irvine finds herself in terrible circumstances after the loss of her father. Her mother passed away when she was a child and there is really no one left who cares for her. On top of that her father has risked his fortune and lost everything in his last few days. Frances is forced to make choices. Will she go to be a house servant to an uncaring aunt or travel to South Africa and marry a man she cares nothing for? This book has so many layers of interest. Frances is young and naïve, but as a reader I sympathized with her. The author touches on life in England and how many women of the time found themselves at loose ends with little or no choices. It also delves into South Africa's corrupt business of making money in the bloody diamond mines while caring nothing for the native workers. Some characters in the book are racist and I must mention there are offensive words and sentiment in the book. Still, Frances and her story captivated me and at one point I even shed a tear for her. A memorable tale that I imagine I will want to read again.