Smuggled ashore by the kind widow Merry D’Angelo, Maria begins her new life in the colonial port city of Fremantle.
With the help of a young fisherman named Tony, she fights to find her place among a people so different to her own.
Yet danger lurks beneath the surface of the turbulent harbour waters as her past races to catch up with her; threatening her future and her friends, and forcing her to choose between her old love and the new.
I moved straight onto the second book in this series after reading Book One and I can gladly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this installment, learning about what happens to Maria when she reaches dry land after the shipwreck which separated her from her love, William.
Demelza Carlton has set this series in the 1930’s, and she has captured the feeling of 1930’s depression era Fremantle with great aplomb. As a resident of Perth, Western Australia and a visitor to the historical City of Fremantle, I could visualize the area as it was during the 1930’s from Ms. Carlton’s beautifully descriptive prose. It was apparent that she has done a great deal of research before putting pen to paper, and that dedication to historical accuracy has created a book which is a delight to read.
We follow Maria’s path as she comes to terms with losing touch with William after the events at the end of Book 1. While she doesn’t know whether William is alive or dead, she can’t bring herself to move forward without knowing the truth. The story follows Maria’s life as she learns to speak English (with the help of a ‘special’ book) and creates strong and lasting friendships with the people she works with, along with Merry, whom we met in the first book and whom Maria lives with.
The finale of the book came as a huge surprise, and I’m happily reading the third book in the series now. Highly recommended and these books would be perfect to read while sitting around the pool, enjoying a drink and enjoying the summer holidays.