The Fever Tree
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1878. South Africa. A country torn apart by greed.
Frances Irvine, left destitute by her father's sudden death, is forced to travel from the security and familiarity of her privileged English life to marry Edwin Matthews, an ambitious but penniless young doctor in South Africa.
They are posted to a smallpox station on the vast, inhospitable plains of the Karoo but she is so caught up in her own sense of entitlement and loss of status that she cannot recognise its hidden beauty nor the honour and integrity of the man she has married. All her hopes for happiness seem destroyed when her husband exposes the epidemic that is devastating the native community in the diamond-mining town of Kimberley. Here, the gleaming houses of the rich disguise the poverty of a labour force under coercion, and Frances is drawn into a ruthless world of wealth and opportunity, where influential men will go to any lengths to keep the mines in operation.
Passionately caught up with the man her husband is fighting to bring down, she must make a fateful choice.
The Fever Tree is a powerful and moving novel set against the raw backdrop of nineteenth-century Colonial South Africa, its deprivation and beauty alive in equal measure. Above all it is an achingly poignant love story, saving the best and most profound moments of truth and redemption until the last pages.