This is a story about the clashes of culture in countries colonized by the British. Native traditions and myths mixed with the stiff upper lip attitude of the British.
I wandered between feeling frustrated about Gwen’s apathy, anger at her silence, and feeling sympathy for her plight. I can imagine her fictional story coming quite close to reality for many families living in the colonies.
Dark secrets hidden in the folds of genealogy, secret children abandoned and forgotten or even disposed of in a more permanent manner. All because their skin isn’t or wasn’t the quite the right shade of colour.
The timid English wife grows with the years. It might be the pain and distress or possibly the guilt she carries with her. Perhaps she toughens up, because she is sick of the lies and the games. Regardless of the why, the fact is somewhere along the line Gwen finally finds a voice.
Jefferies pays tribute to the location and surroundings of her story in the form of beautiful descriptive prose, which makes up for the sometimes disjointed flow.
Overall Jefferies delivers drama, sorrow, anger and guilt, all wrapped up in the marriage and romance of young woman and her husband, who brings a lifetime of baggage with him.
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley.