The Fever Tree
Paperback : 03 Jan 2013
Read an extract from: The Fever Tree
The critically acclaimed debut novel The Fever Tree, by Jennifer McVeigh.
Read about Jennifer's inspiration for The Fever Tree.
Young, naïve Francis Irvine is left alone and penniless with the unexpected death of her father. Faced with the drudgery of poverty in nineteenth century London, she escapes England, hoping for a better life in South Africa.
Marriage to her cousin Edwin, a forthright young doctor who is tirelessly fighting the smallpox epidemic sweeping the Cape, seems to provide a refuge. But her hopes are dashed when she is confronted by the reality of life in Africa, and tempted by the charming William Westbrook.
Set against a backdrop of the unrelenting African landscape and inspired by the diary of a doctor working in South Africa, The Fever Tree explores one woman's struggle to decide her own fate, and in doing so she learns the true meaning of love, and living.
'Place and people come alive in this book... a gripping story' Kim Edwards, author of The Memory Keeper's Daughter
'I loved it. It's a beautifully written novel of great feeling' Rachel Hore, best- selling author of The Place of Secrets
'Engrossing, emotionally poised and elegantly written - I absolutely loved it' Vanora Bennett, author of The People's Queen
'There is nothing more exciting than a new writer with a genuine voice. I loved it' Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey
'A compelling read with a Gone with the Wind feel to it - I was hooked' Katharine McMahon, author of The Alchemist's Daughter
'A skilled unfolding of a woman's struggle with desire, class divide and disease in 19th Century South Africa' Financial Times
'McVeigh's attention to the material culture of South Africa that really fascinates: no object is too small to attract her notice, and through accumulation such objects become evocative and strangely moving - well worth reading' TLS
'An epic story of love, deception and courage' Patricia Wastvedt, author of The German Boy
'A bewitching tale of loss, betrayal and love' Vogue
'Epic, enchanting, emotional and engrossing' Easy Living 'Must-read of the Month'
'An unforgettable journey into a heart of darkness: romantic and tragic, a tale of honour and redemption, it leaves wide vistas of a harsh yet beguiling landscape shimmering in the imagination long after the last page is turned' Deborah Lawrenson, author of The Lantern
'All the delicious elements of a romantic classic, seasoned by evocative prose and keen moral commentary. Gobble it up and then shelve it next to the Brontë sisters' Hillary Jordan, best-selling author of Mudbound
Jennifer McVeigh graduated from Oxford University in 2002 with a First in English Literature. She went on to work in film, television, radio and publishing, before giving up her day job to write fiction. She has travelled across East Africa and South Africa, often in off-road vehicles, driving and camping along the way. The Fever Tree is her first novel.
For more information, visit Jennifer's website.
Customer Review: 10 April 2013
Reviewer: D Evans
'I have to say I found this book a struggle to begin with. I found the writing bland and Fracnes''s predicament unoriginal and uninteresting. That isn''t to say that the plight of unmarried Victorian women isn''t an important issue, simply that I''d seen it handled a lot better elsewhere, not least by the Victorians themselves. But as the book progressed I realised that it was actually doing something far more interesting, with its portrait of a spoiled girl whose eyes are gradually opened to the terrible suffering around her. The twists and turns in the plot and the ethics of Frances''s situation were well-handled and maintained my interest - but they took quite a while to get going! By the end, however, I found I had quite an emotional investment in Frances, and was pleased that the story concluded in the way that it did - the bit where she''s playing the piano in her old house was particularly moving. The South African wilderness was brilliantly evoked. That said, I felt far too alienated from Frances for far too long - and I can''t help but feel that this is a mistake in a novel where all the events are focalised through her. Her emotional and intellectual journey is well-conveyed, but it took about half the book for me to finally care enough about her to enjoy being along for the ride. Also the constant blunt descriptions of her feelings were, ironically for a novel set during a drought, more than a little dry (''She thought x because of y and so she felt z''). Plus, as others have mentioned, some (although not all) of the descriptions of the romantic episodes are a little bit Mills & Boon. In the end, I did really enjoy this novel, but my frustrations with the first half of the book make me think of it as a qualified success.'» Submit a review
Size : 129 x 198mm
Pages : 352
Published : 03 Jan 2013
Publisher : Penguin
The Fever Tree
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