When I first selected this book, the cover design intrigued me, and the back cover copy made me curious as to how the author would weave a tale from this period of sugar plantations.
The Banning sisters are going to the West Indies, after inheriting the sugar plantation from her father. Their lives in England is based on the success of this sugar plantation, so older sister Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson realizes she must visit and find an overseer to bring profit to the land. Her sisters choose to go with her.
After a bad marriage, Keturah is hesitant to accept help from a dear friend from childhood. She is strong, but must protect her heart and swears to never marry again. But Gray, her childhood friend, promises to be there whenever she needs him.
Even though I had the book for a few weeks, it took me awhile to start on the story. I started the first chapter and then put it aside. But then, I finally found a moment while at work. Yes work. Things were slow, so on my break I started reading. And then I couldn’t stop.
The way Lisa wove the story, the descriptions of their travel across the ocean on the ship was enlightening. It was as though I was invited to tag along as a non-participant and follow along with their dialogue and thoughts.
There was depth to the story and I soon discovered that this was not going to be an easy read, that is, no skimming across the pages to get the gist of the story. This book required a full commitment to reading, lest I pass by an important morsel.
The scene on the docks were heart wrenching, thus I appreciated the outcome.
I did cringe a bit with Keturah when he hard-nosed British aristocracy reared it’s ugly head when approaching the one who was residing at the plantation. At this point I was not liking Keturah very much, and had it not been for my curiosity in how the book was to end, I may have been more flippant in my reading. Plus, it was my hope she’d set aside her snobbery. However, considering this is a story, it is quite possibly a very honest reaction.
There are some reviews where some said that the book was perhaps pushing the boundaries in areas, but to be honest, I think it was all needed. It made you understand, appreciate and experience the feelings that the sisters were feeling. It pulled you into the story. Without, I don’t think it would have been nearly as impactful.
That said, I loved the book and enjoyed the end, although I feel there are just enough loose ends hanging around, which my guess will be resolved in the rest of the series.
I received this book from the publisher, Bethany House. All opinions are my own.