Wednesday, August 8, 2012
New Review: Candice Proctor’s WHISPERS OF HEAVEN – Tasmania and Love in the 19th Century—a Real Adventure and a Great Story!
Set in 1840, this is the story of Jesmond (“Jessie”) Corbett, an independent thinking, science-loving heroine, who while raised in Tasmania, spent two years in London studying geology. Returning home to the country she loves, she notices a new convict laborer, a handsome, green-eyed Irishman who, when he is not putting on the brogue, speaks as a gentleman. Lucas Gallagher, son of an Irish shipbuilder, was studying to become a barrister when the English brutally attacked his sister and him, scaring them forever. Spared a hanging, Lucas was transported to Tasmania to serve a life sentence as a convict slave. After brutal treatment by the English there, he determines to escape or die trying—that is, until he meets Jessie.
Proctor sheds light on the life of those transported to the Australian colonies as convicts destined to suffer cruel treatment and spend years, even their whole lives in some cases, as servants to the landowners. It’s a bit of history we should all know about and it causes me to respect those who made mistakes and more than paid for them. NIGHT IN EDEN, her first book, is another great one that does this, only set in New South Wales.
As with her other romances, Proctor gives us a worthy heroine and a noble hero. Jessie struggles between doing what her family expects of her (an arranged marriage), and following her heart. Lucas struggles with whether freedom and/or death are preferable to being with Jessie as her convict servant. Neither can resist the other and both live desperate lives since they know they can never be together. Thank God this is romance and you know a happy ending is coming. But there is much angst and suspense along the way.
This is a great novel set in a beautiful, exotic locale (see picture below)--and a great love story--a keeper. I highly recommend it.