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Posted July 20, 2012
Veil of Pearls- for the romantic at heart
Sadly in America, Freedom is something we all tend to take for granted. But in the book “Veil of Pearls” by MaryLu Tyndall we meet a young woman named Althea who knows the true value freedom as she fights tooth and nail to gain hers. She escapes her Barbados plantation prison from a cruel slave master by sneaking away and gaining passage on a ship bound for Charleston, South Carolina. It is here that she reinvents herself and changes her name to Adalia and seeks to help in a local orphanage with the ill children as she has abilities with natural healing remedies. As she is so light-skinned that no one guesses her to be a runaway slave she starts her new life undetected by those around her as a runaway slave. She does however manage to catch the eye of a local young man coming from one of the most prominent and wealthy families in town, Morgan Ruteledge. Adalia’s initial meeting with Morgan is one filled with ire and she definitely puts the rather bold and spoiled young man in his place.
Adalia’s skills as a young healer catch the attention of a local Dr. in need of a young assistant willing to take care of the local “Negro’s” in need of care, especially for the slaves in the local plantations. This provides Adalia with the fresh start she needs with room and board with the Dr. It also causes her cross paths with Morgan as Adalia is summoned to his family’s plantation to help with the ill slaves. Morgan is captivated by Adalia and wears her down with his constant attention. Adalia is swayed by his constant attention, good looks and charm and agrees to accompany him on several occasions to parties, the theatre, etc. She definitely begins to be wooed by his lifestyle and by Morgan as well as she gets to know Morgan and see how he is influenced by her. The Dr. with whom she is staying is not a fan of the Ruteledge family and so tries to strongly discourage Adalia from the attentions paid her by Morgan. But the heart wants what the heart wants and Adalia ignores the Dr.’s counsel. Of course Adalia’s past catches up to her, but how will Morgan respond to the knowledge that the woman he is falling in love with is a former slave?
My thoughts on this book are that MaryLu Tyndall writes with a lot of passion and brings a storyline that is compelling and romantic. You truly do root for Adalia as she has so many past struggles and things she has overcome, along with past convictions. I appreciate it though that the author didn’t make her incapable of falling a bit- sort of getting caught up in the whole rich, glittery lifestyle of Morgan and sort of became drawn in by it all. Morgan had so much growth to do as well with his stand on slavery, the out of proportion importance of his wealthy lifestyle, etc. I also really liked the Dr’s storyline and background as well which made you understand his over-protective nature concerning Adalia. I thought there were many layers to the story. I would say the only thing that caught me off guard a bit were some of the romantic scenes. They seemed just slightly overdone at times- Just my 2 cents. Overall, a very enjoyable and heartfelt read.
I graciously received a free copy of this book through the Net galley program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own
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Posted July 2, 2012
Charleston in 1811 was not the best place for an escaped slave t
Charleston in 1811 was not the best place for an escaped slave to try and start a new life. Adalia, who is one-quarter "Negro"--as they referred to it back in the extrememly-prejudiced 19th-century--ran away from her owner who took her at a very young age and was not kind to her at ALL.
Adalia comes to Charleston with the clothes on her back and a faith in God that leaves me inspired. Bit by bit there are pieces of Adalia's past that we get a peak at. A past so heart-breaking that I had a hard time thinking about the reality of what people had to deal with and live through in those days.
All Adalia wanted was a happy, peaceful, FREE life to serve God and her fellow man. And then she meets Morgan Rutledge.
I will say that Veil of Pearls contained the very-standard "good-girl-instantly-hates-what-she-PERCEIVES-as-pompous-boy" formula that I find in a LOT of Christian romances. But, I feel like Ms. Tyndall makes it refreshing with instantly likeable characters. Characters that made the story original and memorable. Wrap all of that up with a message about accepting yourself for who God made you, and you have a strong story.
Oh, and I kind of fell in love with the cover.
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