Christopher Newman is an American expatriate in Paris; his fortune made, he has moved to the Old World to enjoy his wealth and find a wife. Newman soon falls for a young widow, the aristocratic Claire de Bellegarde, but his brash New World sensibility horrifies her haughty family. Though the family oppose the idea of the couple’s marriage, reversals of fortune cause them to reconsider. When another suitor arrives on the scene all appears lost, until Newman befriends Claire’s younger brother Valentin and finds himself in possession of a dark family secret. As the novel unfolds, James’s unmistakable stylistic grace combines with his less well-known sense of melodramatic romance, resulting in a finale that combines duels, death, betrayal and blackmail.
A haunting, heartbreaking and unforgettable novel of a woman married to a man she can never love, and drawn to another who will capture her heart forever
East Africa 1903:When eighteen year old Iris Johnson is forced to choose between marrying the frightful Lord Sidcup or a faceless stranger, Jeremy Lawrence, in a far-off land, she bravely decides on the latter.
Accompanied by her chaperone, Miss Logan, Iris soon discovers a kindred spirit who shares her thirst for knowledge. As they journey from Cambridgeshire to East Africa, Iris's eyes are opened to a world she never knew existed beyond the comforts of her family home.
But when Iris meets Jeremy, she realizes in a heartbeat that they will never be compatible. He is cold and cruel, spending long periods of time on hunting expeditions and leaving Iris alone.
Determined to make the best of her new life, Iris begins to adjust to her surroundings; the windswept plains of Nairobi, and the delightful sunbirds that visit her window every day. And when she meets Kamau, a school teacher, Iris finds her calling, assisting him to teach the local children English.
Kamau is everything Jeremy is not. He is passionate, kind and he occupies Iris's every thought. She must make a choice, but if she follows her heart, the price she must pay will be devastating.
A beautifully written and mesmerizing story that will captivate fans of Dinah Jefferies, Victoria Hislop and Lucinda Riley.
'This is a gorgeous book, filled with descriptions of what sounds like one of the most beautiful places on earth. After I read it, I had to go purchase the author's other book, The Poet's Wife, which I can't wait to dive into.' For the Love of Books
What readers are saying about The Poet's Wife:
'A heart-wrenching novel of love, loss and hope.' Daily Express
'A magnificent historical family saga beautifully written and offers an insight into a unique period of time. I urge you to read it.' The Sun
'I loved every minute of it. Dare I say this was just as good as a Victoria Hislop novel and up there with The Separation as my book of the year!' Shaz's Book Blog
'A compelling, beautifully rendered tale... steeped in historical fact, with a wonderful storyline. A book definitely worth reading.' Historical Novel Review
'A beautiful and powerful book. Nothing I say can do this book justice. Please read it. You will be glad you did.' Renita D'Silva
'This was a very moving portrayal of a family's struggles and survival during the Spanish revolution. From the author's words I felt the heartbreak of these atrocities, the fear surrounding them but I also felt the warmth from the love that had blossomed. A very well written historical family saga I can highly recommend.' Krafti Reader