In 1773 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father’s estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.
Although it flies against all the conventions for women of the time, they’re determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, proper gender roles are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined–and that’s just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this unfamiliar world.
Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.
Set on keeping her family together and saving her father’s plantation, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?
Keturah started off really slowly for me. It was difficult to get into at first, but once we reached the Island, I found it difficult to set down.
The setting – the island of Nevis – Is beautiful and lush, described so well that I would almost like to go there myself to see it. Yet there is also a very dark undercurrent to this idyllic land. Diseases, storms, mudslides and that is only the trouble the island causes! Humanity holds many more, with plantation owners who are so stuck in the old ways and belief in a woman’s ‘proper place’ that they hold no shame in sabotage.
Keturah and her sisters do little they way they are expected to. Desperate times, desperate measures. They throw convention to the curb and do what they think is right.
Slavery is strongly shown throughout the book. The main characters all owned slaves, as was common for rich landowners of the times. Keturah, Gray, and her sisters always treated them with respect and care, yet it was still sad to read about. Particularly the foulness of the slave auctions our characters had to witness.
Keturah and Gray’s romance was sweet but felt a touch…abrupt for me. One minute they’re clashing and she’s barely willing to let him help, then within a day or two she’s confessing love?
It might have been hard to fully understand her fears, as we only saw the barest minimum of what she went through with her first husband, but the abrupt turnaround was hard to fully swallow. With the depth of her trust issues, it just seemed to fast.
Nor did they ever work over some of the matters of conflict such as how Gray used to ignore her to flirt with all the other girls in the room – something that caused Keturah no small amount of frustration and insecurity.
In all, Keturah is an enjoyable and exotic read that is perfect for any of us who would rather imagine ourselves on a tropical paradise than think about the snow that some of us are still getting outside.
*** I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way required to leave a positive review.***
My Rating: Four Flames
Romance: Clean with little more than a few kisses. One female character was attacked by some men, but was rescued before anything could happen. Mild innuendo.
Drinking/Drugs: There was use of alcohol, as was common for the times, and one person was mildly drunk.
Blood/violence: Almost no blood is shown. Very little in the way of fighting. Some fists were used and guns and knives were used as threats. Two beatings. Abuse is mentioned.
Other: This novel was written in a time in history where women were not always treated well and slavery was a common thing. We get to see an honest look at the horrible conditions that slaves were subject to in those days. It was written tastefully, but will still leave an impact.
Happy Reading y’all!