New Zealand, 1893: William Martyn is better educated and more cultivated than the other men breaking their backs searching for gold near Queenstown. William is the son of landed Irish nobility, and he comes to town ready to invest in the best equipment. On his search for supplies, he encounters spirited and beautiful young Elaine O’Keefe, who promptly falls in love with him.
He is captivated by her charms until Kura, Elaine's half-Maori cousin, comes to visit. William succumbs at once to Kura's exotic beauty and free-spiritedness, and tension develops not only between the two cousins but also between the colonial settlers and their Maori neighbors.
©2013 Sarah Lark (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Written by German author Christiane Gohl under the pseudonym Sarah Lark, the saga of life in New Zealand seems a rather odd subject choice however I found the story interesting. The first book held my interest enough to purchase the second and third in the series. Translated from the original German by DW Lovett and narrated by English actress Anne Flosnik, some faults can be found. I noted that a review of the first book In The Land of the Long White Cloud mentioned the somewhat awkward pronunciation of Maori names. Not being a Kiwi, I cannot comment on these but there were some very strange pronunciations of opera names and characters. One of the most outstanding discrepancies in the translation is the use of the monetary term "dollars" referring to New Zealand currency. I would have thought that even the most rudimentary researcher would have found that the currency of the late 19th century in NZ was shillings and pounds. These minor annoyances not withstanding, I enjoyed the first two books and I am looking forward to continuing the journey with book 3 Call of the Kiwi.
"1893 New Zealand, Book 2 in Series, EXCELLENT!"
This second book in the Land of the Long White Cloud series is just as good as the first. The beauty of New Zealand shines through, as does the history and ruggedness of the era, 1893 through 1898 (sixteen years after the first book). The story continues as Kura, Gwyn's half Maori granddaughter falls in love with William Martyn (stealing him away from her shy cousin, Elaine). No one has ever been able to tame or discipline, Kura, whose Maori mother, left her with Gwyn to raise at an early age. All the family from the first book blend naturally into Song of the Spirits, growing, changing, maturing, finding their places with children and grandchildren . . .and with the land. The writing has such depth and beauty . . . and is clean and refreshing (although it does contain Maori tradition and historical content true to the time period). Although the books are lengthy, I wouldn't change a thing.
"Great Story and Heart Warming"
Warm and loving story with multiple story lines that came together in the end with heart warming love.
"Can be read as a stand-alone novel"
Following extended families of the heroines we met in the first book of the series. More lively and entertaining story that definitely holds the reader! I liked this more, than the first part. The book can be read as a stand- alone novel, too.
The second in the series, this book recounts the second generation. As with the other novels in the series, I had hoped for more Maori participation with less emphasis on 'tribe' and 'witch doctor' type stuff.
The Maori are a wonderful people with a rich and proud history.
It's a romance novel, and fiction, but some of the things the characters get into are eye-rolling.
Still, I enjoyed it and did purchase the whole series.
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