Set against the background of the beautiful Croatian countryside and its simple villages, DESTINY'S DOWRY is the story of a baby taken immediately after birth to a place she did not belong. Here, she is raised to believe she was born to a woman who died giving birth to her.
When the baby becomes a beautiful girl of 15, her brother-in-law attempts to sell her to a Turk.
Her escape leads her on a journey of danger. She is befriended by a Gypsy Queen, loved by a blacksmith's son, adopted by a woman of means and accused of being a witch because of her knowledge of herbal healing.
The Turk appears on an unrelated matter to the house where Katya now lives. She is betrayed by a woman who wants to get rid of her.
There is murder and danger, as Katya once again leaves, searching for a place where she might belong.
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I want to start out by saying - Don't let this cover scare you away. I almost didn't pick it up because the cover just didn't look very appealing - but I would have never found out how amazing the story inside was. Katya's tale is a strange one, and full of adventure. Raised as someone other than herself, it is in her destiny to return to where she really belongs. It's just that no one ever knows this (except the gypsy queen, but she's special). More than just a romance, this is a story of discovery for everyone in Katya's life. They have all lived in lies, some big some small, and need to learn to accept the truth and live the lives they were meant to live.
Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite Rosemary Gard's, Destiny's Dowry begins on the country side of Croatia in the later 1800s. The story began with a birth and a death, Mila died during child birth. Her last words were the desire to hold her unborn son in her arms. Her husband Mato rushes out and hour's later returns with an infant which he lays in the arms of his dead wife. Ten year old Anka picks up the child remembering her mother's words to love and raise the baby. Realizing his wife was already dead Mato ran out leaving his daughter to raise the baby girl and his neighbors to bury his wife. The midwife wondered where the baby came from, had he bought it or stolen it? So was the beginning of Katya life. She always knew she was different with her flaming red hair and green eyes. She was only fifteen when her brother tried to sell her to a Turk. The search for her true heritage took her on a journey filled with danger and love. Destiny's Dowry is Rosemary Gard's first novel; I predict it won't be her last. Gard offers readers a story that reads like it was written by a seasoned author. The plot is character driven. Katya is a lead character you won't soon forget. Mato was a very dislikable character from the beginning. He was a man that wanted more out of life but cared little about his responsibilities. Even when he brought the infant to his wife it was for his own motives. The plot flows smoothly after the first couple of chapters. Gard successfully brought out the culture of the era in Croatia. I suspect we will be hearing a lot more from Rosemary Gard and I plan to put her at the top of my list of authors to watch.
This book was more 3.5 stars really. But since I can't do that, I gave it 4 stars. I have to be honest in saying I probably would never have purchased this book. But the description was enough to grab my interest in a giveaway contest on here. I was excited to get the email saying I won! I've put off reading it because I was afraid I might not like it. When I finally picked it up to read, it grabbed my attention right from the start. The story is full of interesting characters and events. The chapters in the beginning are a little choppy and the story flow is a little weird once in awhile. But, it's not hard to follow. Some chapters do skip from present to past (and once in awhile future), but it fills in all the details nicely. The above reasons are why I give it 3.5 instead of 4 Stars. Overall, I'm very glad I won this book because it was a wonderful read.
From the opening scene the texture of life pours from the characters. You can smell the sweat beading on a face, feel the heart racing beneath the skin. So Alive! It has been said that the shape of man is based upon the foundation of his existence. The culture here is a living entity that takes the reader through the terrain of values, beliefs, politics, social standing and romance. This story is a surprise! Suspenseful...Secrets upon secrets layered between lies and superstition. A colorful journey filled with twists and turns! Can't wait for the next book!