Set in the frontier land of nineteenth century British Columbia, and during a time of tremendous change for the country, this story looks at what it was like to be a settler in a strange land. When Luke Harcourt buys himself a bride from the mysteriously named bride ship, he at first thinks that he is merely rescuing Hope Booker from a life of prostitution and hardship. Not really wanting a bride, and recognising that Hope is not like the usual sort of woman who finds herself on a bride ship, Luke is determined not to foster any romantic notions about her. However, gradually the two of them, forced together by circumstance, develop feelings for each other. What then follows is an interesting story of the struggle both Luke and Hope must encounter before they are allowed to let their love grow and develop into something meaningful.
I enjoyed this story, which, I thought, at first, would be a rather light-hearted wilderness story but it is so much more than that. Most of the characters are lovely, and such is the emotional bond between them that you begin to care about what happens, and equally, the unscrupulous rogues who seem hell bent on making life as difficult as possible for Luke and Hope, are just as compelling. Throughout the story, I was quite beguiled by both Luke and Hope and enjoyed seeing how their individual stories developed. Hope is a determined and courageous young woman, imbued with that frontier spirit which was such an important and necessary trait in the early settlers and, of course, from the author's descriptions, and in my imagination, Luke is very easy on the eye, which of course helps enormously in bringing him to life !
The author does a good job in describing both place and people, and there is such an authentic feel to her description of the frontier land around Harcourt's Mountain that I really felt like I was there with them all. In Harcourt's Mountain, the rugged landscape, the inherent danger of the times and the uncertainty of Luke's and Hope’s future happiness, all combine to make this an interesting historical romance.
I look forward to reading more from this author.
Elaine was born in Zambia, grew up in Zimbabwe and currently lives in South Africa. Books have filled her life from the very beginning. She trained as a designer, worked in that industry for years, even running her own company for a while. A long stint in advertising followed. In the last few years, she's been toiling away in the TV industry, winning an odd international award. But that wasn’t enough. She wanted to “tell stories”. She is passionate about it. She feels most alive when she's writing, and delights in letting her imagination run riot. In November 2011, she finally took the plunge and decided to “wrestle the Rottweiler” and started putting all those stories on paper.
My thanks to the author for sharing her novel with me.