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.”
“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."
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.