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4.7 out of 5 stars658
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 24 November 2011
This is book 2 of the trilogy Promises to Keep so it does not stand on its own. Book 1 is Sentence of Marriage, Book 3 is Settling the Account. There is also a sequel, Second Chance, which is a must read if you like the trilogy.

The 4 books tell the life story of Amy Leith and her extended family, with her cousin Lizzie as a second significant caracter. The families live on isolated farms in 19th Century New Zealand.

I bought this book as soon as I finished Book 1 and I was not disappointed. The story picks up hours after the end of Book 1 and follows Amy's and Lizzie's parallel lifes as young wives and mothers, between 1885 and 1889. As you would expect, the story revolves around marriages, births, family relationships, babies and deaths. As another reviewer mentioned, this can be boring for some people. However, I found the series a page turner as what matters is what happens to these characters and how they deal with it.
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on 11 August 2011
This is the second book in the "Promises to Keep" trilogy. It follows on immediately from Sentence of Marriage (Promises to Keep). If you haven't read the first book, you wouldn't be able to get to grips with this. In fact, it rather feels that it was probably all one book that has since been split into three, because the endings and beginnings are so abrupt.

This part of the trilogy mainly focuses on Amy's marriage and how her relationship with her husband and children develops. It's tough-going at times, purely due to the subject matter, but the author cleverly contrasts Amy's unhappy and violent marriage with Lizzie's joyful and loving one.

The story continues to be well-written and I still found it a great read but this part of the trilogy feels quite transitory, as though it's sole purpose is to lead the reader to the third part, the conclusion, rather than having a story of its own. I would still recommend that you read it if you enjoyed the first one. I am looking forward to the third part very much.

Kindle edition: no errors or formatting problems.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 8 October 2012
First of all, this book follows on from where Sentence of Marriage finishes off, and you do need to have read that book first, to understand the background to this one.

It is the story primarily of Amy's marriage to Charlie, and their family. The story is literally full of beatings, rapes, childbirth and miscarriages. Set at the end of hte 19th century, when it was quite normal for women to be looked upon as their husband's property and for beatings of women and children to be considered a usual part of enforcing discipline, it can be a very difficult read. In contrast, we have the story of Frank and Lizzie's marriage, one full of love and mutual respect and if these parts of the story were not in the book, I think I could easily have given up reading it and gone on to something a bit more cheerful. Having said that, it is an addictive read = you just find yourself turning the pages in awe wondering just how much more Amy can take, and before you know it you have finished the book!

The book is extremely well written and edited, with characters that are compelling, some you will love and some you will just hate. The dialogue is very natural and realistic. My only complaint really is that at times the story is a bit "waffly" with unnecessary details. The story does end suddenly and is continued in the third book of the saga and I will read that, although I will need a bit of light relief first.
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This is book 2. I've been following Amy and her life from book one "sentence of a marriage". Through no fault of her own she has been in a loveless marriage, given birth to 2 children. Her life is hard, she is a good wife and does her 'duties' she can never please her horrible husband no matter how she tries and gets beatings. You really feel for this girl. Her friend Lizzie I feel is a good person who has stood by her as only a sincere good friend would. She sees the beauty of her friend.

I cannot rave about this book enough. I have almost finished book 3 of this series and forgot to write a review on this one! that's how much I am enjoying this book. I cannot wait to see something good come from something bad.
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on 28 March 2013
This is the second book from 'Sentance of Marriage'...which though I didn't love it, it ended so abruptly with her marriage to a bad tempered old man (again I find it unbeleivable that the father would agree to it) that I bought the 2nd book to see if the character of Amy develops as she grows older, wiser and stand up for herself. Sadly it does not. It is not convincing that her character doesnt evolve, learn from past experiences... The heroin is far too timid, and to suffer through so much abuse without even seeking the help/advice repeatedly given to her by her cousin and brothers... its not possible. Particularly as the father and brothers have been so loving towards her, so being the only girl she would have grown up to be tougher. I know this is the case with most girls who have brothers. I couldnt bear to finish reading the book - so it had to stop mid way, as the book just became repetitive and irritating.
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on 27 December 2012
This would not be a stand alone book, you will need to read Book 1 first, as it picks up immediately after the end of the last one Sentence of Marriage (Promises to Keep)

It is surprisingly well written, and I have fallen even more in love with the characters.

A 5 star read ... get it, read it and I'm sure you will love it as much as I did. Not to spoil any of the plot, the "Gold" reference in the title wasn't what I was expecting ... this book is real Cream off the top of the milk writing, and left me eager to read the rest of the series.
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on 5 January 2013
I got so involved in Amy's story that when I wasn't reading it I had to tell my friends about it. The response I got more often that not was 'what channel was this on?'

No, it's not a movie, it's a book - but it sure well should be!

Mud and Gold continues Amy and Lizzie's life straight from the previous book 'Sentence of Marriage'.


If you've read the first book you know that Amy's had a bad turn in life and things don't look like they're going to get any better. Because of her summer romance with Jimmy she has married her surely neighbour Charlie, who she is scared of. You know that she deserves much more.

Unfortunately for Amy things are worse than even I expected them to be. Still, Amy only ever wants to make everyone happy and she tries her best to do so. I couldn't help but hope that Jimmy would come riding up on a horse at any moment to save her, even though I knew it realistically wouldn't happy but like I mention in my previous review I just HAD to know things would turn out right for Amy.

This book is emotionally charged and will have you feeling outraged, helpless and totally engaged. I didn't realise how emotionally involved I was until my boyfriend commented that it was affecting my mood! Yes, I started hating men while I read this book - a testament to Shayne Parkinsons novels!

Lizzie's life is thankfully at the other end of the spectrum to Amy's and her love-filled marriage to Frank makes a pleasant break of the horror of Amy's life, but also highlights just how hard poor Amy has it.

Its emotional, unfair and I shed a few tears over it but it was definitely worth those tears!
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on 11 February 2016
This is a haunting book. I have read book 1 and am considering purchasing 3 and 4. My heart goes out to Amy for the unjust cruel treatment she receives. Forced to go to Auckland to have her baby and left on her own. She is only 16 and had a terrible time giving birth. The baby was taken from her one night when she slept and she is forever remembering and regretting this. As she did not appear in public during her pregnancy and delivery, one would have thought the poor girl could be left to recuperate and grow up. Then she would have had chances to marry but no, she is forced to marry a cruel, possessive brute of a man who beats her repeatedly, for the slightest reason. He values his horse more than his sweet little wife. The comparisons of her lot with that of her cousin who married into a loving relationship just makes her fate seem even worse. A sad event occurs finally which releases Amy from her husband's power and gives her confidence once again. One beating too many and its consequences give her a hold over him. At this point her brothers and father suddenly start to visit her and keep an eye on her after years of leaving her to fend for herself. I am also angry that the man who originally seduced and impregnated her got away scot free of any retribution! It is a powerfully written book with unforgetable characters. I would recommend it but beware, you will want to complete the saga.
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on 19 May 2012
This is the 2nd book & I can't believe the series is not in the top bestsellers. They are addictive & so well written. I'm an avid book reader & so many of the cheaper books are not so well written. This series deserves to be up there with the best & I guarantee readers they will not be disappointed. There are so many good Characters Amy in particular but the story is so believable and interesting. The books that follow carry straight on with the story with no going back over the previous so you have to start at the beginning.
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on 3 February 2013
I enjoyed the first book but I thought that this one was weaker.
I still enjoyed it, but I had to force myself to finish it. It felt a bit dragged out and repetitive at times. Basically, lots and lots of children are born and named, then someone buys some cows.
Amy finally developed as a character which was nice to see. There are only somany times she can muse on what a terrible person she is and how much she deserves her poor treatment before I stop feeling sorry for her, so I enjoyed her mild rebellion.
As with the first book, there are some interesting supporting characters as well as some poor ones. Lizzie and Frank are lovely to read about and they both grow during the book. However Susannah and Charlie are exactly the same as they were in the first book and only seem to have one layer between them, which is a shame.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and for under £2 it is worth the money but it is not as good as the first. I will buy the third because I am hopeful that the story will pick up as the new generation grows up.
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