Friday, April 5, 2013

The Fever Tree - Book Review

The Fever Tree, a debut novel by Jennifer McVeigh, is a sweeping, epic romantic drama. It's easiest to compare to movies like Gone with the Wind or Australia. Frances is a spoiled, pampered daughter of an English businessman who suddenly finds herself orphaned, impoverished and without many choices. A distant relative proposes marriage and Frances is soon heading to South Africa, a harsh and undeveloped land where the English are flocking hoping to make their fortunes in the diamond mines. In this rough, barely civilized land, Frances will have to choose between her fiance Edwin, a stalwart and moral man whose ideals may ruin them or William, a dashing and rich man who knows just how to get to Frances.

The story is exciting as Frances deals with the dangers of the land, the men and disease in South Africa. Frances, as a character, is flawed and foolish initially but she grows and becomes wiser as the harsh realities of her situation force her to grow up.

McVeigh creates one of those stories that thrills and entrances her reader. She brings the barren landscape to life as the drought and the small pox epidemic threaten to destroy the industry and livelihoods of the inhabitants.

McVeigh has done her research and excels at mixing the history with the story which always and appropriately remains the most important aspect of the novel. I was sad when the novel was finished as I had become emotionally invested in Frances and her hope for survival and love. I couldn't help but picture it on the screen and look forward to seeing The Fever Tree in it's cinematic glory.

**I received a complimentary copy of The Fever Tree in exchange for an honest review. No additional compensation was received.**

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