Cover Image: Bride of a Distant Isle

Bride of a Distant Isle

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Member Reviews

I have LOVED Sandra Byrd's books in the past. However, for whatever reason, I could not get into this one. I hope to go back to it at a later date.

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Once in a while I crave for a book that would keep me on my toes. A book that’ll keep me guessing until the end. With no surprise, I found that in Sandra Byrd’s second novel in The Daughters of Hampshire series.

With stunning storytelling, Bride of a Distant Isle opens up with an energy of adventure that begs the reader to give rapt attention to its pages and refused to release the reader until the very last chapter was read. I loved the feeling of being right in the action of the story, as everything about this novel felt tangible. And slightly gothic. Which almost put me in mind of the writing style of Brönte.

With that said…

As much as I loved the storytelling and reading about the two leading characters individually, I found it hard to love them as a couple. At times I felt the sparks between them were somewhat premature. And I could not really “get” them as I much as I tried to. But I liked how everything came together in the end.

So did I enjoy reading Bride of a Distant Isle? Absolutely! And I look forward to reading more from Sandra Byrd!

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Historical fiction author Sandra Byrd pens a second novel in her Victorian England series. Bride of a Distant Isle tells of young Englishwoman at the mercy of her cousin who promises her hand in marriage to avoid financial ruin.

Annabel Ashton, teacher at a nearby day school, visits her family home, only to discover her cousin Edward plans to marry her off and sell their family home. As an orphaned illegitimate daughter of a Maltese man and mentally ill Englishwoman, Annabel has few options. Fighting to save her family home and her mother’s memory, she discovers old secrets and mysterious happenings. Is Annabel going mad like her mother? Could Annabel be legitimate and the true heir? Does the dashing but brooding Captain Marco Dell’Acqua from Malta have Annabel’s best interests at heart?

Sandra Byrd uses a first-person narration, filled with the best elements of a Gothic novel (mystery, romance, a Heathcliff-like hero, and plot twists!), where the intriguing story grabs the reader’s attention and keeps it until the spine-tingling conclusion. Annabel’s faith helps her in the midst of a very challenging situation, especially when Edward has her confined to an asylum. Her escape is a wonderful plot twist! Bryd’s heroine is Catholic, so the teachings and practices of the Catholic faith in Victorian England are interwoven. The author also includes a note about the Christian faith during Victorian times, as well as poisoned honey and insanity.

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