When men are fueled by lust for gold, who should a women trust?
It is the time of Australia’s harsh rogue-filled gold rush of the 1850’s when Miss Penelope Worthington suddenly finds herself orphaned, isolated and alone. With a large sheep station to run single-handedly, she has little option but to enlist the aid of a mysterious, but sinister stranger.
But who is the more treacherous? Gus—the scruffy, trespassing, ex-convict who co-incidentally shows up looking for work just when she desperately needs a farmhand or Rupert—the handsome, wealthy neighbour who would willingly marry her at the drop of a hat and solve her apparent dilemma?
Repeatedly, her faith is tested as she faces the unforgiving elements, deceit, lies and uncertainty. But where and how will it all end? But…is it the end? Will vengeance return or will Penny’s faith prevail?
I enjoyed reading this book set in Australia. There were moments when I couldn’t help but hear the theme song from the movie, “The Man From Snowy River” playing in my head. But this story goes much deeper. The author’s descriptions of the setting was fantastic and really helped me feel like I was there. The characters are well written, complex and realistic. The story was engaging and fun to read. There were fun moments of laughter and tense moments when I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out what would happen next.
Penelope (Penny) is a strong-willed, independent woman who’s not afraid to get her hands dirty (or blistered). On the flip side she has a strong ideal of social class, and holds herself to those standards. Orphaned and alone she struggles with knowing who to trust.
Angus (Gus) has a strong faith and it is the bedrock on which he depends. He has made some poor choices in his past, but he is doing his best to prove that his past doesn’t define who he is now.
Rupert was raised with a silver spoon in his mouth. He’s brash, and his moods seem to change with the wind. As Penelope’s closest neighbor he has made it known that he would marry her and solve her problems with her sheep station.
I enjoyed the threads of faith and the overreaching trust in God woven into this story. The characters face hardships and challenges, and you can see their faith stretching and growing.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from Netgalley. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
“Am I a Christian? I always thought I was. I am a good person, is that not all that is needed? The Bible appeared to say ‘no’. Then what am I? A heathen? Surely not.”
About the Author:
Amanda Deed grew up in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne in a Christian home, and found faith at an early age. She has followed her passion to serve the Lord through music and literature since her teen years. Now married, with three children, Amanda enjoys the variety of being a mother, administrator/book-keeper, musician and fiction writer.
Amanda’s debut novel, The Game, was awarded the 2010 CALEB Prize for fiction.
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