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1866. Will Stewart is one of many who have left their old lives behind to seek their fortunes in New Zealand's last great gold rush. The conditions are hostile and the outlook bleak, but he must push on in his uncertain search for the elusive buried treasure. Rose is about to arrive on the shores of South Island when a storm hits and her ship is wrecked. Just when all seems 1866. Will Stewart is one of many who have left their old lives behind to seek their fortunes in New Zealand's last great gold rush. The conditions are hostile and the outlook bleak, but he must push on in his uncertain search for the elusive buried treasure. Rose is about to arrive on the shores of South Island when a storm hits and her ship is wrecked. Just when all seems lost she is snatched from the jaws of death by Will, who risks his life to save her. Drawn together by circumstance, they stay together by choice and for a while it seems that their stars have finally aligned. But after a terrible misunderstanding they are cruelly separated, and their new-found happiness is shattered. As Will chases Rose across oceans and continents, he must come to terms with the possibility that he might never see her again. And if he does, he will have to face the man who took her . . .


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1866. Will Stewart is one of many who have left their old lives behind to seek their fortunes in New Zealand's last great gold rush. The conditions are hostile and the outlook bleak, but he must push on in his uncertain search for the elusive buried treasure. Rose is about to arrive on the shores of South Island when a storm hits and her ship is wrecked. Just when all seems 1866. Will Stewart is one of many who have left their old lives behind to seek their fortunes in New Zealand's last great gold rush. The conditions are hostile and the outlook bleak, but he must push on in his uncertain search for the elusive buried treasure. Rose is about to arrive on the shores of South Island when a storm hits and her ship is wrecked. Just when all seems lost she is snatched from the jaws of death by Will, who risks his life to save her. Drawn together by circumstance, they stay together by choice and for a while it seems that their stars have finally aligned. But after a terrible misunderstanding they are cruelly separated, and their new-found happiness is shattered. As Will chases Rose across oceans and continents, he must come to terms with the possibility that he might never see her again. And if he does, he will have to face the man who took her . . .

30 review for Alchemy and Rose

  1. 5 out of 5

    SadieReadsAgain

    I picked this book up as I've read and really enjoyed Sarah Maine before - I read Women of the Dunes last year. I thought that book has a really great blend of mystery, a touch of modern-day romance and historical fiction. This story is completely set in the past, and has a prominent romance premise. I'm not a romance reader at all, but I figured I was in good hands with this author so gave it a try. This is the story of Rose and Will, who meet when Will jumps into the treacherous water to save h I picked this book up as I've read and really enjoyed Sarah Maine before - I read Women of the Dunes last year. I thought that book has a really great blend of mystery, a touch of modern-day romance and historical fiction. This story is completely set in the past, and has a prominent romance premise. I'm not a romance reader at all, but I figured I was in good hands with this author so gave it a try. This is the story of Rose and Will, who meet when Will jumps into the treacherous water to save her from a shipwreck, off the beach of a New Zealand gold-mining town in the 1800's. Will has come to New Zealand from Scotland, where in desperation he committed a crime to pay his way to join the gold rush. Rose has been sent away by her employers, after a scandal in the household she was a maid to in Australia. Will then saves Rose again, this time from a life of prostitution in the town's hotel, by asking her to marry him. This story follows Will to a newly discovered gold-field, trying to find enough to give him and Rose the life they both dream of. Whilst Will is away, Rose finds work with the local photographer, Fraser, until Will is established enough for her to join him. But a misunderstanding sees Will left for dead after a fight with the photographer, and Rose blackmailed into a life on the run with Will's former gold-mining partner, the rough and dangerous Robbie. We follow Rose as her situation goes from bad to worse, and Will as he chases her from New Zealand, to Australia and back to Scotland - the country he thought he would never be able to return to. As I had hoped, Sarah Maine didn't let me down in this book. Whilst this does have a romance at its core, this book is not dominated by that one element. It is compulsively readable, full of historic fact from a period of history I knew nothing about, and is really more about the jeopardy that Rose finds herself in. Maine is incredibly good at setting a scene, and each character had a really strong presence. I particularly enjoyed the character of Rose, who we meet when she has been beaten down by life, but who grows in both confidence and courage. This book isn't particularly deep in comparison to my usual choices, but it still covers a lot of themes and is a fun read. My only quibble was with the ending. Not in how it came about, but how it played out. For me, after the build up, the ending itself felt a bit stunted and not the thrilling climax I was hoping for. I'd have loved to see both that and the aftermath given more page time to really feel like a conclusion. I was sent a Netgalley of this title from Hodder and Stoughton in return for a review. All opinions are my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Vikki Patis

    Alchemy & Rose is a truly inticing novel, with characters who seem to step right off the page. An absorbing historical fiction which kept me gripped.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Phillip Kang

    It was the book cover that first drew my attention to this novel by Sarah Maine. The foliage and flora that populate it and that image of a sailing ship in the middle of the top half echo a newly discovered lush distant land in a distant past. It’s evocative and enticing as if daring one to visit such a place. Intrigued, I read the description. It confirmed the impression I’ve formed in my mind and decided that I must read it. "Alchemy and Rose" promises to be ‘a beautiful and sweeping historical It was the book cover that first drew my attention to this novel by Sarah Maine. The foliage and flora that populate it and that image of a sailing ship in the middle of the top half echo a newly discovered lush distant land in a distant past. It’s evocative and enticing as if daring one to visit such a place. Intrigued, I read the description. It confirmed the impression I’ve formed in my mind and decided that I must read it. "Alchemy and Rose" promises to be ‘a beautiful and sweeping historical novel that takes the reader from the west coast of New Zealand, to Scotland and Melbourne in the 1870s’. I will say that it has delivered on point in large part. For Will Stewart digging and panning for gold nuggets in an almost spent goldfield is a hard slog with little to show for it. He had left his old life behind in Scotland after a petty crime to start anew and seek his fortune in New Zealand’s last gold rush in the 1870s. His life dramatically takes a turn one day when, risking his own life, he saves Rose, one of the passengers of a ship that floundered off the coast of the gold-mining town, from drowning. Rose recovers and is about to be sucked into a life of prostitution but is dissuaded from it when Will proposes to marry her. For a while it seems their life together is a bliss until Will decides to leave for a newly discovered goldfield to earn more money for them both, and Rose is left alone in the town to fend for herself. She befriends Fraser, a photographer whom Will also knows. She’s fascinated by how the photos are taken and developed in a dark room. She learns the tricks of the trade from Fraser and very soon is persuaded to pose for some revealing photos. After a terrible misunderstanding and a fight over one such photo, Will is left for dead and Rose is snatched away by Robbie, Will’s gold digging partner, jealous of their marital union. After recovery Will learns the bitter truth about Robbie and Rose. Not only have they disappeared but the gold nuggets he’s saved up as well. He is determined to rescue Rose and sets about looking for them. With Fraser’s help, his search takes him across towns and cities in New Zealand and across oceans to Melbourne and Scotland. By some sheer (almost cruel) coincidences their paths almost cross but just as soon as these happen, the trail suddenly turns cold again. Feeling frustrated by the day, Will realises he has to come to terms with losing Rose forever. Resigned to this prospect, he is persuaded by Fraser to return to Scotland to help manage the latter’s farm. Then another coincidence happens that will change the fates of Will, Rose and Robbie finally... Author Sarah Maine spins a pretty good yarn set against the backdrop of New Zealand’s gold rush. For some such a setting often conjures up tales of how people had become insanely rich after a bout of gold digging. But life for most of the gold hunters then was hardly a bed of roses. Working conditions were often hostile and they had to put up with back breaking work for long hours and live in squalid conditions, as the novel grimly depicts. It really was quite an eye-opener for me. No doubt the novel is of the historical fiction genre but it’s also a romance story of love lost and found. Well written, and with excellent character development, the plot is engaging with many twists and turns. It’s quite slow and draggy in the early part but thankfully it picks up speed when Will goes about his search for Rose. As I read quickly the final few chapters, eager to find out how the story will end, the quickening pace of the action has a palpable effect on me. So I expect the story to end with a great flourish. Alas, it turns out to be not the case. It was quite disappointing for me. Hence, the 3-star rating for this review. I received an advance review copy for free from the publisher and NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    This was a slow start, for sure. It took me until about 30% in to really be interested in the characters and their journey and even then I never really felt truly invested. This is a mostly character driven story and they fell a little flat for me. The writing was well done, if a little dry at times. The ending was really unsatisfying. I felt that the conflict was wrapped up too quickly. I don't really have much to say about this, honestly. It was enjoyable enough but a little unforgettable. This was a slow start, for sure. It took me until about 30% in to really be interested in the characters and their journey and even then I never really felt truly invested. This is a mostly character driven story and they fell a little flat for me. The writing was well done, if a little dry at times. The ending was really unsatisfying. I felt that the conflict was wrapped up too quickly. I don't really have much to say about this, honestly. It was enjoyable enough but a little unforgettable.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jo-anne Atkinson

    New Zealand in 1866 and Will Stewart has left behind his past in Scotland to search for gold. Life is hard but the rewards could be great. One evening a huge storm drives a ship onto the rocks and Will rescues a young woman. To save her from a life of prostitution he marries her and builds a cabin by his claim. Will finds a cache of gold which he hides from his partners but, when he disappears after a fight, Rose is taken by another man. Will determines to reclaim his Rose even if it means confr New Zealand in 1866 and Will Stewart has left behind his past in Scotland to search for gold. Life is hard but the rewards could be great. One evening a huge storm drives a ship onto the rocks and Will rescues a young woman. To save her from a life of prostitution he marries her and builds a cabin by his claim. Will finds a cache of gold which he hides from his partners but, when he disappears after a fight, Rose is taken by another man. Will determines to reclaim his Rose even if it means confronting the sins of his youth. This book is a bit of a mixed bag for me. I loved the beginning of the book based around the gold rush shanty towns and the life there but as the photography theme crept in the realism seemed to fade. By the time the action moved to Australia I was less armoured and the final chapters in Scotland I found underplayed. That's not to say that Maine isn't a good writer and certainly has a feel for a stunning start to a book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jen (shitbookreviews.com)

    If it were possible to side-eye a book, Alchemy and Rose would get a full dose of it. You. I was supposed to love you. Here’s why. I am a Scot living in Edinburgh with New Zealand duel nationality who spent a lot of time scooting around gold mines whilst on a trip there. Somewhere in my mum’s attic is a photo of me holding a GIANT nugget of gold and I even bought my own (you never know when you might strike lucky) gold pan. Layer on the fact it’s an historical fiction and this was meant to be MY B If it were possible to side-eye a book, Alchemy and Rose would get a full dose of it. You. I was supposed to love you. Here’s why. I am a Scot living in Edinburgh with New Zealand duel nationality who spent a lot of time scooting around gold mines whilst on a trip there. Somewhere in my mum’s attic is a photo of me holding a GIANT nugget of gold and I even bought my own (you never know when you might strike lucky) gold pan. Layer on the fact it’s an historical fiction and this was meant to be MY BOOK. Scene setting time: ✨ 1870s New Zealand coated in gold ✨ Shitty situations which just get worse and worse and w-o-r-s-e ✨ One super fascinating women trying to survive said shitty situation Now, this is a story all about how Will’s life got flipped upside down. And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, and I’ll tell you all about how he found a woman in the ocean and became her rescuer on multiple occasions in a town called Hokitika. Will (our main lad) ditched his former life in Scotland for the gold-laden hills of New Zealand where he moved around depending on where the next batch was uncovered. Rose (to put it bluntly) has had a shit life, growing up in time period known to be cruel to women and, as a result, gets shipped around. A LOT. In order to save Rose from a life of prostitution, Will swoops in and marries her the next day. And they say romance is dead? Everything goes sideways and before you know it, Rose is hopping from country to country being dragged along by her blackmailer. Let’s start with the bits I’m a big fan. This is a wonderful setting. The entire thing sucked me in straight away and I genuinely struggled to put it down. It’s insanely easy to read and whilst I was 100% more interested in Rose’s story than Will’s, I never got bored of them. Yet I have two major bits that I noped out on and just can’t get past. There is no way in hell that two people could conveniently keep finding each other whilst moving from country to country. Yes, I know books can take liberties (blah, blah, blah), but this ain’t no fantasy book. I just cannot get past the ending. I am massively aware that I can’t have everything my own way, but Rose DESERVED more. The build-up was so dramatic and I was 100% there for the bonfire. I was handed a match. Book betrayal. Contrary to what I said above, this is a good book. I just can’t forgive it for the gut-punch.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Very well written; I was immediately absorbed into 1870s New Zealand at the beginning of the book, which sees Will Stewart prospecting during the gold rush of the 1860s, when a ship bringing new arrivals breaks on rocks and he finds himself rescuing a girl named Rose from the clutches of the sea. It’s not an easy town to be in for a woman however and soon Rose finds she needs rescuing again... Will’s kindness stands out in an environment which is unkind to women and a romance blossoms. However j Very well written; I was immediately absorbed into 1870s New Zealand at the beginning of the book, which sees Will Stewart prospecting during the gold rush of the 1860s, when a ship bringing new arrivals breaks on rocks and he finds himself rescuing a girl named Rose from the clutches of the sea. It’s not an easy town to be in for a woman however and soon Rose finds she needs rescuing again... Will’s kindness stands out in an environment which is unkind to women and a romance blossoms. However jealousies are evoked elsewhere which threatens to undo everything. Rose is snatched away to Melbourne and then Scotland and from then on we are following the two parallel journeys of Will and Rose separately, as they struggle to make their lives what they had once hoped and dreamed for. There are a lot of (cruel) coincidences in the book which, while unrealistic, make for a riveting story, and I found myself reading quickly particularly in the latter stages as I was keen to find out what happened to Rose. The book title also refers to photography, of which Rose develops an interest during the pioneering days of the profession: as with ‘To the Bright Edge of the World’ I found the information on the early days of photographs very interesting. I would also recommend this to fans of Outlander as it felt similar in some ways, minus the time but not the travel. My thanks to #NetGalley and the publisher Hodder and Stoughton, for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    🌊Fascinating tale of love, separation and hardship in 1800's New Zealand🌿 4-4.5🌟 stars With lots of action and movement between a Scottish, New Zealand and Australian historical setting, I really got caught up in this tale of hardship and survival of a young Australian woman sent off in disgrace to the gold fields of nineteenth century New Zealand. Frontier living, limited prospects for work outside the hotels and bars serving rough and tumble gold miners, constant badgering from her new husband's 🌊Fascinating tale of love, separation and hardship in 1800's New Zealand🌿 4-4.5🌟 stars With lots of action and movement between a Scottish, New Zealand and Australian historical setting, I really got caught up in this tale of hardship and survival of a young Australian woman sent off in disgrace to the gold fields of nineteenth century New Zealand. Frontier living, limited prospects for work outside the hotels and bars serving rough and tumble gold miners, constant badgering from her new husband's mining partners: young Rose faces it all. Her destiny keeps her on the move and constantly on edge as her HEA proves more elusive with every new twist. I loved the geographical and the historical setting. But, for me, the strongest draw was the human drama between Rose, her rescuer Will, their photographer friend Fraser and Will's mining partner Robbie. Will, my favorite of the group, is a heroic, self-sacrificing figure from the moment he is introduced. He's definitely not without faults but he is trying his best to overcome them while making a secure home and future for Rose. Although the denouement of the book was brief and ended on a bit of a whimper, the journey there was exciting, informative and a really enjoyable read. Thanks to Hodder Stoughton and NetGalley for providing a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Linda McElroy

    I have loved all of Sarah Maine’s books so I was seriously excited when this one appeared on the bookshop shelf! Alas, I was a bit disappointed. It was written well, and the settings in New Zealand and Scotland were vivid and atmospheric as always, but I found the storyline of this one a little too depressing for me. It’s 1866 and Will Stewart flees to the gold fields of New Zealand to escape his hopeless lot in Scotland. When a ship is wrecked off the shore of his new home, he risks his life to I have loved all of Sarah Maine’s books so I was seriously excited when this one appeared on the bookshop shelf! Alas, I was a bit disappointed. It was written well, and the settings in New Zealand and Scotland were vivid and atmospheric as always, but I found the storyline of this one a little too depressing for me. It’s 1866 and Will Stewart flees to the gold fields of New Zealand to escape his hopeless lot in Scotland. When a ship is wrecked off the shore of his new home, he risks his life to save a woman clinging to debris in the waves. The woman is Rose, who has been sent over from Melbourne to fend for herself after being seduced by her employer’s son. The two seem fated for each other, but when a fistfight results in a terrible misunderstanding they are separated and Will is left scrambling across oceans to find her. The book captures the experience of the influx of migrants crossing the seas to Australia, NZ and Canada in the late 1800s in search of the next big gold rush. The settings are therefore bleak and gritty, and certainly not as beautiful as in Maine’s other books (until of course they reach the Highlands of Scotland!). Will and Rose are lovely though; it’s just their circumstances and some of the other characters I found hard to stomach!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nurafini Zahid

    Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for providing a review copy in exchange for honest feedback. 4.5 stars I would said it is well-written. I used to stumbled upon on this kind of story. Love and betrayal. This can be consider romantic genre but nonetheless it is not that so romantic. It's nice to learn on what happened in New Zealand of 19th century. Some historical background were provided. Because of the plot situation just get worse and worst that made me read non-stop. I need to kno Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for providing a review copy in exchange for honest feedback. 4.5 stars I would said it is well-written. I used to stumbled upon on this kind of story. Love and betrayal. This can be consider romantic genre but nonetheless it is not that so romantic. It's nice to learn on what happened in New Zealand of 19th century. Some historical background were provided. Because of the plot situation just get worse and worst that made me read non-stop. I need to know more on what's going on after that. It also reminds me of soap opera on TV too which I like to watch. I really love Rose. She is definitely a strong woman and also deserved better. She needs to have a complete family ! But what to do, in 19th century was a tough time. Somehow this story reminds me of one of romantic genre that I used to read, it's only lack of romance which is fine since it is not for romance genre. This book is literally wants to describe the life of white people in Australia and New Zealand which they were generally came from Europe and a little bit of spice, which was the drama.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emma Watson

    I enjoyed this book but wasn’t as captivated as I expected it to be. Will Stewart leaves Scotland to go to New Zealand and meets with Robbie who becomes his partner in the gold mines of New Zealand. Will rescues Rose from a shipwreck and seems to like her. She ends up working in a hotel but to pay her way she may have to do something she doesn’t want to. Will asks her to marry him to save her from this way of work she doesn’t want to do. Will & Robbie end up joining forces with another lot of gold I enjoyed this book but wasn’t as captivated as I expected it to be. Will Stewart leaves Scotland to go to New Zealand and meets with Robbie who becomes his partner in the gold mines of New Zealand. Will rescues Rose from a shipwreck and seems to like her. She ends up working in a hotel but to pay her way she may have to do something she doesn’t want to. Will asks her to marry him to save her from this way of work she doesn’t want to do. Will & Robbie end up joining forces with another lot of gold miners and they work together but Will also starts to build a cabin for him and Rose. Rose starts working with Fraser who is a photographer. Rose moves to the g9ld mine where Will is. Somethings happen and Rose ends up with another man who then go to Melbourne leaving New Zealand and then eventually end up in Scotland. I found the book good in places but sometimes it was a bit long winded. Thank you for letting me read it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    This is really a very ordinary, even banal, historical adventure tale, set mainly in the New Zealand goldfields of the 1860s, peopled with stereotypical characters – the romantic but headstrong hero, his treacherous friend, the fey photographer, the greedy madam, the rapacious and usually drunk diggers – whose paths cross over the years as Rose, rescued form a shipwreck, and Will, the main protagonist, face love and its consequent trials and tribulations and many misunderstandings while fate see This is really a very ordinary, even banal, historical adventure tale, set mainly in the New Zealand goldfields of the 1860s, peopled with stereotypical characters – the romantic but headstrong hero, his treacherous friend, the fey photographer, the greedy madam, the rapacious and usually drunk diggers – whose paths cross over the years as Rose, rescued form a shipwreck, and Will, the main protagonist, face love and its consequent trials and tribulations and many misunderstandings while fate seems to toss them hither and thither over the years. Full of twists and turns and an astonishing number of coincidences the book rambles along to its unsatisfactory conclusion, and failed to engage me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mrs M A Moore

    Will and Rose The story is engaging with lots of coincidences. Will flees from Scotland and ends up in New Zealand as a gold prospector, he saves a pregnant Rose from a ship wreck, then later saves her from a life of prostitution, they marry and live together in the atrocious conditions of a miners camp. Rose is instructed in photography by Frazer, a man only interested in art. Through various evil deeds perpetrated by Will's partner Robbie, Rose and Will are separated. Can true love find a way t Will and Rose The story is engaging with lots of coincidences. Will flees from Scotland and ends up in New Zealand as a gold prospector, he saves a pregnant Rose from a ship wreck, then later saves her from a life of prostitution, they marry and live together in the atrocious conditions of a miners camp. Rose is instructed in photography by Frazer, a man only interested in art. Through various evil deeds perpetrated by Will's partner Robbie, Rose and Will are separated. Can true love find a way to triumph over Robbie's ruthless ambitions for him and Rose.. I liked the travel aspects of this book and the descriptions of New Zealand, Australia and Scotland.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Hicks

    My thanks to Sarah Maine, Hodder and Stoughton and Net Galley for the ARC of ALCHEMY AND ROSE. A wonderfully crafted, sweeping novel of life during the Gold Rush in New Zealand in the 1870s. How difficult life was for those who were swept away by promises of fortune amongst the grimy backdrop of a male dominated society, and for the women who followed them. The ending surprised me. I was so sure after all the effort Will went to he would have been more forceful in his determination to encourage My thanks to Sarah Maine, Hodder and Stoughton and Net Galley for the ARC of ALCHEMY AND ROSE. A wonderfully crafted, sweeping novel of life during the Gold Rush in New Zealand in the 1870s. How difficult life was for those who were swept away by promises of fortune amongst the grimy backdrop of a male dominated society, and for the women who followed them. The ending surprised me. I was so sure after all the effort Will went to he would have been more forceful in his determination to encourage Rose to stay with him.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gemma Sparrow

    This book was the perfect mix of character and plot. I absolutley loved both of the main characters, and was rooting for them both all the way through. I love finding historical fiction novels which cover events that I am unfamiliar with, and gold prospecting in New Zealand absolutley ticked that box for me. This story is full of adventure, love, betrayal and friendship, and it was a joy to read from start to finish. I would absolutley recommend this book!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Julie Gargett

    I couldn't put this book down, I needed to know what happened to Rose. Rose was a character that was so well written you could feel her emotions, and I really wanted her to find happiness. Will's journey to try and find Rose was an amazing tale. This is one of those books that you need to find out what happened, but at the same time you don't want it to finish, I really enjoyed every page of this. Great book once again by Sarah Maine. Thank you netgalley. I couldn't put this book down, I needed to know what happened to Rose. Rose was a character that was so well written you could feel her emotions, and I really wanted her to find happiness. Will's journey to try and find Rose was an amazing tale. This is one of those books that you need to find out what happened, but at the same time you don't want it to finish, I really enjoyed every page of this. Great book once again by Sarah Maine. Thank you netgalley.

  17. 4 out of 5

    siobhan

    So this is the first time I’ve read anything by this author. The plot summary and the cover is what got my interest. I’ll be honest, it’s not my cup of tea, the ending was a bit disappointing for me. After all that back and forth, I didn’t feel justice was served... personally I don’t think I would purchase this for my friends or myself.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Heather Nazmdeh

    Loved the cover of this book and the blurb which made me want to read it. But it wasn't quite what I was expecting, more of a romance than a gripping historical novel. Don't get me wrong, its a fascinating setting and I quite enjoyed it but I was expecting a more literary offering from the cover so I was a bit disappointed. Loved the cover of this book and the blurb which made me want to read it. But it wasn't quite what I was expecting, more of a romance than a gripping historical novel. Don't get me wrong, its a fascinating setting and I quite enjoyed it but I was expecting a more literary offering from the cover so I was a bit disappointed.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Robey

    An interesting historical read of the New Zealand gold rush in the 1800’s. The setting was described vividly and the hardships of living this life given in the exacting details lived by Rose. Will and Rose had the potential to be great characters, and Rose’s maturing character was a joy to see as she fought her way through the challenges in front of her.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Ogier- Lawson

    nice easy read

  21. 5 out of 5

    Larissa Moon

    This was an easy read, full of suspense that kept me hooked and I felt for the characters. There were a couple of things that troubled me... In the beginning of the book Rose is described as being beautiful, fine. But one of the adjectives that was used to describe her was ‘slender’. Because this was repeated a few times on first meeting Rose it made me think about the way we treat women’s bodies. Would she have been equally alluring if she was fat, buxomly, plump, or corpulent? Yes, absolutely. This was an easy read, full of suspense that kept me hooked and I felt for the characters. There were a couple of things that troubled me... In the beginning of the book Rose is described as being beautiful, fine. But one of the adjectives that was used to describe her was ‘slender’. Because this was repeated a few times on first meeting Rose it made me think about the way we treat women’s bodies. Would she have been equally alluring if she was fat, buxomly, plump, or corpulent? Yes, absolutely. Rose is a great character, she discovers a love for herself and her body during the narrative which brings her confidence and strength. I just wish it hadn’t started out with ‘slim’ being an image of an ideal woman. Secondly, there are just too many unlikely coincidences. I’m all for suspending disbelief when I’m caught up in a good story, often the best real life stories have amazing synchronicities! But I did find myself wondering... really?! Honestly, I enjoyed it. It took me out of my current reality and told a fine, unputdownable tale. Whilst it was more romance ( not my usual cup of tea) than historical fiction I really felt for Rose and wanted her to find love. An absorbing read. Thanks to @hodderbooks for my #gifted copy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Beth

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

  25. 5 out of 5

    colleen

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sally Timpson

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dr Sophie M Parcell

  28. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marcelle Kirby

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anne Lloyd

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