Sunday, 30 November 2014

Book Review: ISLAND OF A THOUSAND SPRINGS BY SARAH LARK


My Thoughts on this Epic Historical Novel ......

ISLAND OF A THOUSAND SPRINGS
BY
SARAH LARK


Published:  3 October 2014


London, 1732: Nora Reed, the daughter of a merchant, falls hopelessly in love with her father's clerk, Simon. Despite their differing social class, the star-crossed lovers dream of a future on a tropical island - until tragedy strikes, and Nora must face a life without her soulmate. Hopeless, Nora enters a marriage of convenience with Elias Fortnam, a widower and sugar planter in Jamaica. Even without Simon, she is determined to somehow fulfill their tropical fantasy. But life in the Caribbean doesn't turn out as Nora had dreamt. 

Nora is deeply shocked by the way plantation owners treat the slaves and decides to shake things up on her own sugar cane plantation - for the better. Surprisingly, her adult stepson Doug supports her in this endeavour when he arrives from Europe. However, his return also puts things into a state of turmoil - especially Nora's feelings. 

Just as Nora seems to be settling into her role as lady of the house, one harrowing event rips everything from her but her life... 
A gripping tale of love and hate, trust and betrayal, and a thrilling destiny set against the pristine beaches and swaying palm trees of the tropics. 


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Island of a Thousand Springs is a wonderful epic historical novel taking you from the poorest of people living in the slums and degradation of the East End of London to the beautiful paradise island of Jamaica and the wealthy sugar cane planters.

The chasm between the two is very marked at the beginning of the book as we meet Nora, from a wealthy family, who has fallen in love with her father's clerk, Simon, who's family have fallen on to hard times. When Simon contracts a deadly illness she gives up everything to look after him.  Nora is heartbroken when he dies and when an opportunity arises to marry for convenience and live in the Caribbean Island that she and Simon had long dreamed of she took it.

She feels his spirit on the land where they had often talked of living one day.

At the start 17 year old Nora is wide-eyed and timid, spoiled by her doting father and I enjoyed seeing her grow in confidence as she was determined to help the slaves despite her husband's obvious annoyance. Her care, sympathy and respect of the slaves lives really was

I could almost see and feel and smell the Caribbean as the author's descriptive writing immersed me in the culture and diversity of Jamaica very vividly.

...the bright Caribbean sun, the beaches and the deep, blue sea ..... the landscape was often bleak, mountain ranges, where nothing other than a few cactus plants or tough grasses grew ..... tobacco, cocoa, sugar cane growing .... jungle snaking all the way down to the beach.... the air so heavy with moisture but also with the thick sweet scent of the tropics.

This was an epic novel, full of memorable characters, some twists and turns, it  was heartbreaking and compelling, very much an emotional rollercoaster, and one which I would heartily recommend!

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I received an ebook copy of this novel from Samantha at JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review.

Available from Amazon UK  -  Amazon US 




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