Title: Veil of Pearls
Author MaryLu Tyndall
Expected Published: July 1, 2012
Format: eBook (ARC)
Available for Pre-Order: Barnes & Noble / Amazon
Be swept away to Charleston of 1811, a city bustling with immigrants like Adalia, who is a runaway slave so light-skinned that no one guesses her past. Terrified her secret will be discovered, she settles into a quiet life making herbal remedies for a local doctor. But when Morgan, the handsome son of a prominent family, sweeps her into his glamorous world—a world in which the truth about Adalia’s heritage would ruin them both—suspicions and petty jealousies are aroused. What will Morgan do when he discovers that the woman he has fallen in love with is a runaway slave?
Set in the 1800's during slavery, Althea...a slave who is so light she can pass for white (mom is black...dad is white). She is the slave of Sir Walter from Barbados. A cruel sadistic man who took Althea and her sister when they were young after they lost their parents in a violent storm.
The book starts off with Althea escaping from Sir Walters's plantation in Barbados. She makes her way to a ship leaving for the US to Charleston SC. There she changes her name to Adalia and works a healer at a Negro orphanage. She takes the interest of a Doctor who works occasionally at the orphanage and she starts to work for him as his assistant.
Adalia soon catches the eye of Morgan Rutledge..youngest son of a very powerful business man in Charleston. Morgan is fascinated by Adalia because unlike the other woman who seem to throw themselves at him...she on the other hand can't stand him.
As Morgan pursues Adalia, he starts to fall in love with her and Adalia despite her better judgment does the same. But can Morgan face the truth once it's out? That Adalia is one-quarter black...a slave...a negro. Can he by-pass his own prejudices and make a life with Adalia?
This was a very good story and I enjoyed it, even though sometimes the characters worked my nerves. There is a interesting cast of characters. The doctor who took her in, who is a racist, but considers himself a christian, Morgan's brother Hadley, who is jealous of his brother (in my opinion). There is also Morgan parents; his father is an abusive brute and his mother who is a sweet woman; but like most white woman from the era, they were seen...not heard. And then you have his very irritating stuck up society friends.
Adalia forgets her heritage the more time she spends with Morgan, as she wanted to be accepted. So yes, she even treated other blacks somewhat badly because she wanted acceptance from the whites in Charleston's upper society. Morgan had some growing up to do as well. He was very dependent on his father's wealth and even though he really did want his own life, he didn't have the necessary tools or faith in himself to take the step forward and live his own life.
And this is where he and Adalia clashed. Ms. Tyndall story telling is very good, you are drawn into 1811 and you feel this woman fighting her demons. Wanting to be accepted in a time where if not for her light skin, she would not have gotten as far as she did. And even though I was upset reading some of the things here, I thought to myself...if that was me, wouldn't I have done the same thing if the opportunity was afforded to me. Adalia knew who she was, she knew where she came from and she loved her father and mother dearly. But it is easy to get caught up in the good life when it was never given to you in the first place.
As for Morgan, it took some time for his character to come along. He struggled with himself. He was bored with the Charleston social life and he wanted to to be his own man, but he was afraid. Afraid of so many things. He really didn't know who he was without his family's wealth.
Both Adalia and Morgan came to realize that with their faith and love for each other is what's relevant most...no matter what stood in their way, race, family, wealth... I also love Ms. Tyndall's reference to God and faith through out the book. It was a very strong theme throughout the story and I enjoyed that as well.
A highly recommended read
**Provided by NetGalley for Review