Date: 10 September, 2020

It is 1820 and Jessica, grieving for the loss of her fiancée at Waterloo, accompanies her clergyman father on an expedition to South Africa with the intention of continuing her work as a schoolteacher and helping him to minister to the spiritual needs of settlers whom the British Government is encouraging to take up land grants to form a buffer against the incursions of the native population on the border. On the long outward voyage she meets the enigmatic Finbar O’Rourke, the ship’s surgeon, Miles Draycott, a ruthless entrepreneur and his predatory sister-in-law Beatrice. As Jessica struggles to control her growing feelings for Finbar, Beatrice sets her cap at him whilst Draycott becomes besotted with Jessica. The tensions within the group reach a climax as the ship finally arrives at South Africa and continues beyond as the settlers struggle to make a living in the unfamiliar, hostile environment of the interior.

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