Monday, June 18, 2012

Review of "Veil of Pearls" by MaryLu Tyndall

Rating: 4 Stars
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Summary from Barbour Books: 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? 

Book Trailer: 

Review: In her latest novel, Veil of Pearls, MaryLu Tyndall's niche for historical, maritime novels takes readers to Charleston, South Carolina.  City and plantation life take the forefront in the plot, but in true Tyndall-style, several pivotal scenes take place on ships.  There is nothing like a bit of maritime combat to get your pulse racing.  Such action-filled scenes initially drew me to Tyndall's novels, and I have come to expect high seas adventure in her writing.  Veil of Pearls offered that trademark element as a backdrop, allowing the central focus of slavery in various forms to take precedence.  The result is a novel that gives the reader the best of both worlds - adventure and emotional depth.  And, of course, a multi-dimensional love story is integrated within the pages.

Through Adalia's story, Tyndall reveals the tragedy of slavery and judgement.  As a slave, Adalia was shackled physically.  As a escaped slave, she encounters shackles that are invisible but just as binding.  Various forms of slavery are revealed throughout the progression of the story and manifest themselves as violence, hatred, jealousy, fear, and vanity.  Tyndall uses the theme of slavery to convey a message of faith and ultimate freedom.  The challenges that Adalia and Morgan confront from society and with each other keep the plot flowing steadily until the conclusion.  I can't fail to mention the cameo appearances of the adorable cat, M, who brings a touch of mischief and charm to the novel.

I always enjoy epilogues at the end of a good book, but they rarely stand-out.  The "Author's Afterwords" at the end of Veil of Pearls is actually one of my favorite parts of the novel.  Like any strong epilogue, it ties up the loose ends with a glimpse into the future lives of the main characters.  This afterword has a Jane Austen quality that drew me in and made a lasting impression.  It is a bright and very satisfying ending to a memorable novel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Books through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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