Diane Scott Lewis
on Nov. 11, 2017 :
Rose has fled her former life to protect her small daughter from the man who fathered her. He ruined Rose's virtue and turned her family against her. She thought she found a haven on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, but he suddenly shows up with threats. Again, Rose must flee with Hannah. The gold rush up in remote Barkerville is all everyone can talk about. Rose boards a ferry to forge a new life there.
Viscount Harrison St. John is desperate to restore his family's lost fortune. His effort to marry for money fails when his fiancée jilts him on their wedding day. They didn't love one another, so only his pride suffers. Even from England, the riches unearthed in Barkerville entice men to dig for gold. Harrison is determined to go.
Harrison and Rose are well fleshed out characters with flaws and conflicts that put roadblocks up to prevent their happiness after they meet on the road to Barkerville. The rough and tumble gold rush town--an actual town now a national landmark--is well described. Rose's difficulty in supporting her daughter in a man-centric world and the hard work of mining, the damp and endless toil, are vividly detailed by Westerling. I shivered along with Harrison. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and now wish to visit Barkerville myself.
(reviewed 32 days after purchase)
on Sep. 29, 2017 :
BooksWeLoveInc dedicated this series to the immigrants male and female, who left their homes and families, crossed oceans and endured unimaginable hardships in order to settle in the Canadian wilderness and build new lives in a rough and untamed county.
Mr Edmund Hewitt. Whose voice Rose once thought was the most melodic in the world finsda her. He wants what he claims is his, their daughter. If Rose refuses to give him the child he never acknowledged, he will ruin Rose financially and let slip about her questionable morals. To distance herself from him Rose flees to Barkerville with Hannah.
Five months earlier hard-up Viscount Harrison St John is about to enter an arranged marriage to save the family fortune. His bride to be jilts him at the altar. Harrison decides to go to Burkeville in British Columbia to join the gold rush.
On her way to Barkerville the stage coach breaks down. Although Rose is suspicious of Harrison, who offers to give them a lift in his wagon, she is forced to accept because Hannah fell over and gashed her leg.
From then on, fiercely independent Rose, who claims to be a widow, and Harrison’s paths cross.
Throughout the novel Ms Westerling builds conflict, tension and word pictures.
Rose hadn’t expected Barkerville to be “the jumble of wooden mostly single storey buildings tottering on stilts alongside a wide muddied creek. Surrounded by steep hills stripped bare of trees.
The road through town was in poor shape, rutted and puddled with patches of drying muck. In consideration for pedestrians, raised wooden walkways fronted every building like pleated skirts.”
This talented author captures the challenges and hardships faced by the miners and women who must to earn a living. Destitute and alone Rose has to forge a new life for herself and her daughter, a life in which Harrison seems to have no part.
(reviewed the day of purchase)