|Worlds collide..will love survive prejudice and social custom?|
Veil of Pearls by MaryLu Tyndall
Barbour Publishing July 1, 2012
Paperback 320 pages
Review eBook via NetGalley
Burton Book Review Rating:
Be swept away to Charleston of 1811, a city bustling with immigrants like Adalia, who is a runaway slave so light-skinned that no one guesses her past. Terrified her secret will be discovered, she settles into a quiet life making herbal remedies for a local doctor. But when Morgan, the handsome son of a prominent family, sweeps her into his glamorous world—a world in which the truth about Adalia’s heritage would ruin them both—suspicions and petty jealousies are aroused. What will Morgan do when he discovers that the woman he has fallen in love with is a runaway slave?
Veil of Pearls has a magnificent storyline with a bit of a Cinderella theme but is certainly more realistically told. It also tackles the plight of the slaves as our main protagonist is a runaway slave trying to hide her true identity in efforts to escape an abusive owner and begin a new life for herself. Adalia doesn’t fit in right away in her new town of Charleston because high society has taken notice of her.. Morgan Rutledge in particular. He senses a kindred spirit and is immediately entranced by Adalia, much to the chagrin of his admirers. Adalia’s fair skin gives no hint that she was once a slave, and the attitude of the day was that slaves were property and nothing more. It is because of the scorn of society that Adalia seeks to hide the very personal reasons behind her stand against slavery, but secrets have a way of coming out at the worst times.
Adalia knows in her heart that any courtship would lead to heartbreak or ridicule, and she spurns the wealthy Morgan Rutledge’s many chivalrous advances. With each denial, Morgan becomes more and more determined. Meanwhile, the good Dr. Willaby whom Adalia is assisting tells Adalia to stay away from those Rutledges. True love, however, cannot be thwarted, and the two become closer despite the demands of high society.
Vicious slave owners, jealous women, sweet slave girls and jovial ship owners are all just a sampling of the mix of characters portrayed in Veil of Pearls. From romance at a ball to heroes of the sea, this is a story that begs the question if we should be shameful of our heritage or embrace it as a gift from God? All together it gives us an important story with purpose, as it teaches that God has a plan. I loved this story of opposite worlds colliding, and it was the first novel from the author that I had read. Based on the writing skill demonstrated here, it won’t be my last. Highly recommended!