If you are anything of a historical novel buff, then you are probably already familiar with Kate Furnivall’s ‘The Jewel of St Petersburg’ and ‘The Russian Concubine’. As fabulous as I think those novels are, and they will definitely get their own review at a later date, I wanted to give this novel a particular mention.
The reason being is to plead with you to stick with it. At first I found the story slow and the characters un-relatable and in desperation I even attempted Tolstoy. However, I came back to it and I’m really glad I did.
The novel centres on Connie Hadley in 1940′s Malaya. Connie is the glamorous wife of a rich plantation owner, who happens to be one of the only men in this novel not in love with his wife. Connie’s boredom comes to an abrupt end when a freak accident starts the ball rolling for an epic adventure, sweeping Connie away from the soulless life she had become accustomed too.
Pearl Harbour alters the course of Connie and her family lives further as they are forced to navigate the islands of the South China Sea on; you guessed it, The White Pearl.
In desperation, deadly divisions arise and characters meet their untimely ends. As with all of these novels there is a glimmer of hope, and while Connie’s, shall we say, adulterous past comes back to haunt her, she is also able to look to a future. Whether or not that future is with her husband is something I will let you discover for yourselves!
As the story progresses it unfolds into an action packed adventure on the backdrop of a world that Furnivall makes easy for us to dream about.
This is well worth the perseverance, and even though it doesn’t quite have that vital dosage of romps, it does provide enough romance to keep you satisfied. Which is how I imagine Connie feels at the end of this novel…?