The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh is the story of Frances Irvine who is faced with two options after the sudden death of her father. Each option leaves her little freedom. She must choose either a marriage to an almost perfect stranger or became a nursemaid to her aunt’s growing brood. The story takes the reader on an adventures from the stuffy English nobility to the dangers on the high seas and the wilds of Africa.
Frances is the only child when her mother died suddenly. Her father was a successful businessman but because he was Irish, he was looked down by her mother’s proper English family. Her father provided very well for her and she lived in comfort until her father’s untimely death and she discovers that her father lost everything when the stocks of a railroad company had failed. With her mother’s family unwilling to take her in, she is given a proposal by a distant cousin, Dr. Edwin Matthews, marry him and live with him in South Africa where the diamond mines are profitable. She rejects this proposal until her aunt decides that she will come with her and help her with her youngest children. Frances chooses the lesser of two evils and journeys to South Africa. While on the journey south, she meets dashing William Westbrook, who sweeps her off her feet and awakens in her something she never experienced before. When she lands in Cape Town, will she join Edwin or will she run away with William?
I loved this story. This book has been on my list to read ever since I saw it on the bookshelf. I finally was able to get a copy after months of waiting and the story did not disappoint. The story may sound like a typical romance where the heroine is freed from a loveless marriage to find safety in the arms of a dashing man. This story had so many twists and turns that keeps you guessing about what will happen to Frances. Who will she choose? Will she fall in love her new home or will she escape back to England? The backdrop of the story takes place in South Africa in 1880 as the tensions are building between the English and the Boers. Boers were settlers of Dutch. German or Huguenot descent who settled in the Transvaal region of Africa. I highly recommend The Fever Tree. It is a great adventure story that will thrill you and keep you turning the pages.