The Fever Tree, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


The critically acclaimed debut novel The Fever Tree, by Jennifer McVeigh, a Richard and Judy bookclub pick. 1880, South Africa - a land torn apart by greed...Frances Irvine, left penniless after her father's sudden death, is forced to emigrate to the Cape.

In this barren country, she meets two very different men - one driven by ambition, the other by ideals.

When a smallpox outbreak sends her to the diamond mines, she is drawn into a ruthless world of greed and exploitation, of human lives crushed in the scramble for power.

But here - at last - she sees her path to happiness.

Torn between passion and integrity, she makes a choice that has devastating consequences..."Place and people come alive in this book...a gripping story." (Kim Edwards, author of The Memory Keeper's Daughter). "I loved it. It's a beautifully written novel of great feeling." (Rachel Hore, best-selling author of The Place of Secrets). "Engrossing, emotionally poised and elegantly written - I absolutely loved it." (Vanora Bennett, author of The People's Queen). "A compelling read with a Gone with the Wind feel to it - I was hooked." (Katharine McMahon, author of The Alchemist's Daughter). "An epic story of love, deception and courage." (Patricia Wastvedt, author of The German Boy).


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Historical fiction
  • ISBN: 9780670920907



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Won via Goodreads First Reads.<br/><br/>I wasn't sure what to think when I first started this book.<br/><br/>Frances did not appeal to me at all and she is the main character.<br/><br/>A couple chapters in I was frustrated by her - she opted for paints and an easel over essentials she was told she'd need for her new life. She couldn't understand Edwin's frustration at her when she arrived with no material, no sewing machine.<br/><br/>The whole ship journey got to me too - because this is where we meet William. William is a foul character and I know Frances lived a sheltered and naive life but <i>really</i>? Did she really think he was god's gift to man? So his actions on the Cape finally jolted her a little, but she still longed for him even though on the ship... Well, you should read it, it may be a spoiler if I say.<br/><br/>I liked the conservation messages subtly strewn throughout the text - they highlight the dangers that Africa still faces today in terms of everything being wiped out.<br/><br/><i>"Were there ever lions here?"<br/>"Reitz's father shot the last one thirty years ago..."</i><br/><br/>I loved the imagery. I could feel my skin drying, blistering, burning. And the descriptions of small pox were quite horrific. I could taste the fetid water, smell the spilled blood, feel the dust coating everything.

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