A distant land. A dangerous husband. A forbidden love.
The year is 1912. Nineteen-year-old Maisie Porter watches from the deck as England fades from view. Her destination is Buccaneer Bay in Australia’s far north-west. Her fate: marriage to distant cousin Maitland Sinclair, a man she has never met.
When Maisie arrives in her new home, she finds a stifling small town bound by Victorian morals. Shocked at her new husband’s callous behaviour towards her, she is increasingly drawn to the intriguing William Cooper, a British diver she met on board ship. It soon becomes clear that secrets surround her husband, as turbulent as the waters that crash against the bay. Secrets that somehow link to her own family – and secrets that put Cooper and his fellow British divers in great danger…
From the drawing rooms of London to the latticed verandas and gambling dens of Buccaneer Bay, The Pearler’s Wife is a sweeping, epic read, inspired by a lost moment in history.
From reading the blurb to this story, I expected a story of a naive English girl, being forced to marry a cruel man in a wild and unforgiving setting. While this is true, what I didn’t expect was the racist language that dominates the story and the barbaric treatment of the indigenous population. I accept that this is probably an accurate representation of the culture at this time, but I found it offensive and not the escapist read that I imagined.
If you can get past this, there is a story of forbidden romance. The character development of Maisie, as she comes to terms with her life and stands up to her husband is interesting, and she becomes a strong character and likeable woman, but this is not a book I could recommend.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.