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In the Land of the Long White Cloud (In the Land of the Long White Cloud saga Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Sarah Lark , D.W. Lovett
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (315 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Helen Davenport, governess for a wealthy London household, longs for a family of her own—but nearing her late twenties, she knows her prospects are dim. Then she spots an advertisement seeking young women to marry New Zealand’s honorable bachelors and begins an affectionate correspondence with a gentleman farmer. When her church offers to pay her travels under an unusual arrangement, she jumps at the opportunity.

Meanwhile, not far away in Wales, beautiful and daring Gwyneira Silkham, daughter of a wealthy sheep breeder, is bored with high society. But when a mysterious New Zealand baron deals her father an unlucky blackjack hand, Gwyn’s hand in marriage is suddenly on the table. Her family is outraged, but Gwyn is thrilled to escape the life laid out for her.

The two women meet on the ship to Christchurch—Helen traveling in steerage, Gwyn first class—and become unlikely friends. When their new husbands turn out to be very different than expected, the women must help one another find the life—and love—they’d hoped for.

Set against the backdrop of colonial nineteenth-century New Zealand, In the Land of the Long White Cloud is a soaring saga of friendship, romance, and unforgettable adventure.



Product Description

About the Author

Sarah Lark, author of several bestselling historical fiction novels in Germany and Spain, was born in Germany’s Ruhr region, where she discovered a love of animals— especially horses—early in life. She has worked as an elementary school teacher, travel guide, and commercial writer. She has also written numerous award-winning books about horses for adults and children, one of which was nominated for the Deutsche Jugendbuchpreis, Germany’s distinguished prize for best children’s book. Sarah currently lives with four dogs and a cat on her farm in Almería, Spain, where she cares for retired horses, plays guitar, and sings in her spare time.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2845 KB
  • Print Length: 666 pages
  • Publisher: AmazonCrossingEnglish (21 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00802UZ1E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (315 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,643 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Sarah Lark, author of several bestselling historical fiction novels in Germany and Spain, was born in Germany's Ruhr region, where she discovered a love of animals--especially horses--early in life. She has worked as an elementary school teacher, travel guide, and commercial writer. She has also written numerous award-winning books about horses for adults and children, one of which was nominated for the Deutsche Jugendbuchpreis, Germany's distinguished prize for best children's book. Sarah currently lives with four dogs and a cat on her farm in Almería, Spain, where she cares for retired horses, plays guitar, and sings in her spare time.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
134 of 137 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, not for me. 26 Aug. 2012
By Sally Zigmond VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am a huge fan of historical fiction and read as much of it as I can, especially that set in the nineteenth century and this sounded right up my street. I was a little dismayed by the thickness and weight of the book when it arrived but assumed it would be a captivating saga and that the pages would fly by.

I began to read with interest but was soon pulled up short by the anachronisms and historical inaccuracies in the early sections set in the United Kingdom. (Where do I begin? A governess teaching Latin to a 16-year-old boy? A governess sharing the dinner table with the family? A champion sheep-herding border collie living as a pet in an aristocratic drawing-room? An understanding of dog-allergy-induced asthma in the mid-nineteenth century? And so on...) I am not normally a stickler for nit-picking detail but I believe that historical fiction has to bear some resemblance to reality. And there was so much that wasn't plain wrong that I lost confidence in the writer. And that is not a good thing for a book which is meant to sweep readers away.

The story and various plot-lines rattled along nicely enough but on a purely superficial level because the characters were all stereotypes and without complexity. And it was all too far-fetched and easily resolved. The whole book could have done with a severe pruning. The writing style was plodding. ponderous and lacked any sparkle. It's impossible to tell whether this was the fault of the author or translator but surely the translator is to blame for this example of a rhyming phrase so little thought-out that I laughed out loud? "who stood with Madoc in the paddock."(!)

I would have given this novel far less three stars but felt it unfair to judge a novel that I had only skimmed through because of lack of engagement. Some reviewers seem to love it, so the fault must be mine. Sorry.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 9 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In the Land of the Long White CloudAs an expat Kiwi, and a lover of historical fiction I was expecting great things from this book. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I felt that the research was somewhat cursory, and many of the historic facts were incorrect. The story line was pretty thin, and where it could have been explored further to create depth, it was rushed. The writing was lazy and contained many anachronisms. I am trying hard to avoid saying it was utter drivel, but to be honest, that is the kindest thing I can say. Sorry, but can't recommend this book at all.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
By Mrs. K. A. P. Wright TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a book on a huge scale. It reminds me of those magnificent Technicolor epics made in the late fifties and early sixties depicting pioneer life in the Old West, except that In the Land of the Long White Cloud is set mostly in New Zealand rather than the USA.

The book mainly concentrates on the lives of Helen Davenport, a governess in her late twenties drawn to New Zealand in search of the husband she is unlikely to find in Victorian London, and Guineira, daughter of Lord Silkham, who, in effect, loses her in a bet with a New Zealand wool baron. Helen is put in charge of six orphans destined to be servants. She and Guineira meet on the journey to New Zealand and their lives are entwined from that point on.

New Zealand is not what either was expecting, Christchurch being little more than a village, and their prospective husbands are not really what they were expecting either, but there is little option but to proceed as planned. So we follow their lives and watch how society in New Zealand begins to develop, thanks to the efforts of pioneers, entrepreneurs, rogues and misfits.

It would be impossible to give a summary of the plot without either diminishing it or acting as a spoiler. Suffice to say that what happens is often exciting, sometimes upsetting and always plausible. The characters of Helen and Guineira are sympathetic and you can identify strongly with them. Although they are strong characters, they are not those intensely irritating heroines who can overcome every travail put in their way. They are nineteenth century women living nineteenth century lives. Some of the other people you may feel you have met before, but it doesn't really matter as the story is strong enough to sustain them.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sprawling historical saga 19 Aug. 2012
By Elaine Simpson-long TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Helen Davenport is a 27 year old governess and her chances of getting husband are nil. On seeing an advertisement in a paper seeking young churchgoing women to marry honourable men in New Zealand she decides to take a chance and in due course finds herself in receipt of a marriage proposal from a'gentleman farmer'. She sails to the other side of the world on this slender promise of a good life, taking charge of a disparate group of young orphans who are being sent out to work in Christchurch and the surrounding countryside.

Also on the ship is Gwyneria Silkham, a beautiful daughter of a wealthy sheep breeder. She is wilful but bored with her life and desperate not to sink into a life of boring domesticity. A New Zealand sheep baron arrives to buy livestock from her father and as soon as he seens Gwyneria decides she would make the perfect wife for his son and by dint of a drunken card game wins Gwyneria as his future daughter in law.

Helen and Gwyneria become friends and this friendship is needed as both of them suffer disillusionment and unhappiness in their new lives.

This is a 500+ page book and it really could do with some serious editing as characters come and go and one or two given plotlines that I found rather unlikely. Characterisation is drawn with a wide brush stroke and we seem to stagger from one upheaval and disaster to another.

However, nit picking aside it certainly is a Good Read and, despite my thoughts given above, overall an enjoyable way of spending a day or two. It certainly engaged my attention even though I kept tutting and chuntering while I was reading it and, considering its length, that is something in its favour.

So only three stars which is a shame as when I started reading I thought it was going to be better than it was.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really enjoyed the journey
Published 2 days ago by M. Scawen
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable story
A good epic story, but I noted one or two mistakes - I don't think that "onesies" and "brassieres" were worn in the days when the story is set! Read more
Published 4 days ago by music lover
4.0 out of 5 stars In the Land of the Long White Cloud (In the...
Good read although fiction I hope the descriptions of early settlers had some factual basis. I have bought the next two in the trilogy so I can follow the characters' progress.
Published 11 days ago by Lizzie
3.0 out of 5 stars Such a shame
A superb story, completely and utterly ruined by its American translation. You begin to enjoy its flow, you begin to get to know the characters, then a clumsy Americanism brings... Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. R. Ballantyne
5.0 out of 5 stars Every cloud has a silver lining!
This was the ideal book for my first Kindle read. Received as a surprise Christmas gift, as I'm a real book person took awhile to use it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Loulou
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
O/K
Published 1 month ago by EDDIE
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
loved the story and just had to read all three of her novel to complete the story
Published 1 month ago by house elf
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Great story, but far too long
Published 1 month ago by Karen Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent
Published 2 months ago by tim shellis
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read
A great way to escape into the past and what the lives for some were like many years ago when emigrating.
Published 2 months ago by Karen Young
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