It is often a spur-of-the-moment decision that can become a turning point in life. So it is for Kitty Morland, a young woman in London in 1878.
When she yields to temptation one fateful day, the consequences of her action force her to flee to Australia, hoping to join her brother.
On the other side of the world, she meets two men–William, an expatriate English aristocrat, and Rufe, a charismatic Colonial entrepreneur involved with trading in diamonds and in the goldfields.
Beautiful and spirited, Kitty needs all her courage and determination to survive the ordeal of marriage to William, a bullying husband. When he is drowned it leaves her alone to give birth to a daughter and to run a timber-cutting business in a male-dominated era that considers a woman only as an obedient homemaker and bed-warmer.
When she is offered a chance at love and happiness with Rufe, will she make the right decision?
A Note From the Publisher
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 1 member
Once I adjusted my expectations, A Woman of Spirit was a solid read that begins in Victorian England and concludes in colonial Australia. I expected this to be more historical romance than general historical fiction (it was tagged “romance” on NetGalley). It turns out it is a family saga, complete with a to be continued at the end. I love both the Victorian era and women-centric books concerning colonial Australia, and this was solidly researched on both counts. The main character has to flee England after false accusations against her, and after actually committing a crime that might get her in very serious trouble. I will say that the idea she came up with to hide the evidence of her theft was a little… it made me queasy (think modern-day drug mules)! The woman and her mother reach New South Wales fairly early in the story, and the real plot begins there. I did find it a bit odd that one of the first people they met in Sydney knew their family back in England, and recognised them by their surname! There were tens of millions of people in Britain in the late 1870s, and Australia was working its way up to a million. If you read the blurb put out by the publisher, you are going to learn almost the entire plot. I’m not sure this is a good way to sell a book, giving everything away at the start. However, this was solid historical fiction. I am appreciating that publishers are starting to take chances on books set in 19th century Australia. Variety is always good!
Talk about story to get lost in this is it. The reader will love Turing the pages to find out what happens. The characters were great and you can relate to them.
I received this ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. A decision made in an instant will dramatically alter the course of your life. England born Kitty steals a pocketful of jewels and she is on the run. Taking her mother, she flees to Australia and starts a new life. Although attracted to Rufe, she marries William because he offers a homestead and security. But did she make the wrong decision when the dark side of William's personlity appears? The writing is good, the conversation and characters are believable and the language is clean. The 1800's is my favorite era to read about, being set in untamed Australia was just a plus. This is a quick read and not a terribly complicated story line to follow. Good beach read or a rainy day book. 3☆
A Woman of Spirit really highlights what can happen when you make a rash decision and how that decision can steer the course of your life. Kitty Morland's life changed dramatically when her father's shipment of diamonds was stolen. Her father was so devastated that he took his life. Their money was depleted and they found themselves serving those that once worked for them. When Kitty is falsely accused of breaking a vase, she becomes angry and makes a rash decision to steal some diamonds so that she can secure her and her mother's financial future. She and her mother then flea to Australia to find her brother. On the ship, she is courted by William Baron. When they arrive in Australia, he proposes marriage. Kitty is reluctant to marry because she wants to marry for love. She does not give him an answer. Rufe Cavanaugh also comes over on the ship to Australia. He sees Kitty and her mother and wants to help them find their brother, Robert. He also befriends them. As he does, he finds himself falling for Kitty. When Rufe has to deliver bad news to Kitty about her brother, he gives them a mourning period. When Kitty and her mother learn that they will not be reunited with Robert they become afraid that Kitty will be found and charged with stealing the diamonds. Kitty is encouraged by her mother to marry William so that she can be protected from the theft charges. Despite Kitty's feelings for Rufe, she marries William. Rufe is very upset when he learns Kitty has made such a poor decision. Kitty soon discovers that all of the warnings Rufe gave her before she married William is true. But she soon discovers a love like she never knew when he child was born. A Woman of Spirit is a family saga that has ups and downs. It ends on a cliff hanger that drives the reader crazy. I am so anxious to learn what happens between Kitty and Rufe. It was a book that captured and maintained my attention. Very well written as well.