The Fever Tree is a compelling portrait of a country steeped in raw beauty and terrible depravity. It is the story of a young woman forced to shed her innocence in circumstances beyond anything she could have imagined. And it is a love story—about how just when we need it most, fear can blind us to the truth.

“A magical, bewitching tale of loss, betrayal and love.”

Vogue (UK)

“A skilled unfolding of a woman’s struggle with desire, class divide and disease in 19th Century South Africa… the journey, like the landscape, is thrillingly huge: one of love, self-knowledge, human and political self-respect. Frances treads out every step – a naive and intriguing character who brings alive a momentous – and appalling – part of history."

Financial Times

The Fever Tree

Frances Irvine, destitute in the wake of her father’s sudden death, is forced to abandon her life of wealth and privilege in London and emigrate to the Cape. In this remote and inhospitable land she becomes entangled with two very different men. One driven by ambition, the other by his ideals.

     Only when the rumour of a smallpox epidemic takes her into the dark heart of the diamond mines does she see her path to happiness. But this is a ruthless world of greed and exploitation, where the spoils of the rich come at a terrible human cost and powerful men will go to any lengths to keep the mines in operation. Torn between passion and integrity, she makes a choice that has devastating consequences. 

 
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McVeigh, Jenny - The Fever Tree, UK Large Print, FA Thorpe jpg
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McVeigh, Jenny - The Fever Tree, UK Large Print, FA Thorpe jpg

January 4, 2017

Whilst working in the British Library I discovered the diaries of a young doctor who fought to expose a smallpox epidemic which had broken out in the diamond mines of South Africa. Reading further, it became c...

December 30, 2016

Richard and Judy ask Jennifer McVeigh 

1) So . . . why the Cape, and why then? What drew you to that particular place and time? 

A few years before I began writing The Fever Tree I travelled to Namibia, in south...

January 13, 2016

The Fever Tree first spoke to me on a dark winter’s afternoon in the British Library. The hush in the reading room was broken only by the turning of old pages, and the soft tapping of keys. I was researching t...

April 28, 2012

Jennifer McVeigh Picks Her Favourite Characters from the Kimberley Diamond Fields 

Kimberley was an extraordinary place, swarming with fortune hunters who lived out a gritty, hand-to-mouth existence on the very...

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Kathryn Hughes Praises Leopard at the Door: “Right from the deliciously descriptive prologue, I knew I was in for a treat with this book. Jennifer McVeigh manages to transport the reader right to the heart of Africa with her vivid atmospheric prose.”

June 09, 2017

Kate Furnivall Praises Leopard at the Door: "This is a book that will steal your heart. It is a wonderful, stunning, heart-wrenching tale of love, danger and self-discovery. Jennifer McVeigh's descriptions of life in Kenya are electric in intensity and open up the world of Africa in vivid detail in a way that totally beguiled me. I couldn't put it down. It took me places I have never been before. A powerful, painful and brilliant book."

February 15, 2017

Publishers Weekly praises Leopard at the Door: "Captivating and thought-provoking. McVeigh’s beautiful prose and harrowing plot will quickly absorb readers by sensitively approaching themes of race, cultural evolution, and the humanness that unites us all."

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