About the Book (from Amazon):
It’s 1837, and immigrating to a small New Zealand fishing village is an opportunity for Ida Lange’s family to build a better future. Yet for Ida, raised in a strict, religious, tight-knit German community, so much is still forbidden to a woman. Yearning for the poor day laborer she shared books with as a child, Ida is now trapped in a dire marriage to a man of her father’s choosing.
For Cat, who came of age in New Zealand under brutal conditions, life in the colonies hasn’t been easy. Through a strange turn of events, she is adopted by a native Maori tribe, and she begins to thrive. But when she challenges the traditions of her tribe, she’s banished, and left once again to rely on the only person she can trust with her future: herself.
When fate brings Ida and Cat together, they recognize in each other a kindred spirit. Out of common ground grows an enduring friendship that will not be broken by the hardships of the plains, threats from the past, or the trials of family and heartache. What they’ll discover is the depth of their own strength and resilience as they get nearer to the freedom they desire and demand. And their journey is just beginning.
What do you know about New Zealand? To be honest, I did not know much. I could find it on a map and most of my knowledge came from behind the scenes specials on Lord of the Rings! So, I really enjoyed reading the story of the German settlers and their journey to New Zealand. I knew nothing of the settlement of the country and it was fascinating to read this historically based fiction account of one group. I especially loved that the author had a nice section in the back of the book to explain what was fact and what she had added. This has definitely sparked my interest in learning about this beautiful country and its history.
This novel follows a group of German settlers from Germany to New Zealand and all of the hardships that were experienced on all sides, including those already in the country and how the joining of several cultures is no easy task. It mainly follows two women as they work to navigate this new world. There are a lot of hard things to stomach, but it is accompanied by a lot of beauty. You will get wrapped up in their story and will not be able to turn the pages fast enough. There are a few slower parts in the story, but overall I really enjoyed the book and was able to finish it quickly. I do not think I would read it again, but it is a great onetime read. I highly recommend it.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley for my fair and honest review.