The plot and writing style of Veil of Pearls reminds me of authors such as Jamie Carie, Linda Chaikin and Lori Wick, so I’m sure that fans of these authors will love this book.
Unfortunately, I didn’t. I wanted to, but I didn’t.
Veil of Pearls heaps formula upon platitude upon cliché – Adelia, the beautiful young girl, orphaned and forced into slavery yet with a faith in God and a strong desire to make her world a better place, escaping and meeting Morgan, the rich young man who doesn't want to fulfil the destiny his father has dictated. He is intrigued by the girl, who initially rebuffs him because she detests everything he stands for, then accepts his invitations with a view to missionary dating (1811 style), in the hope that she can reform the rake and convert him to Christianity. Veil of Pearls also features Emerald, the Other Woman with insides “splattered … the color of her name”, and Doctor Langston Willaby, the misguided protector, who hides mail from Morgan to Adelia. How very original.
Adalia is one quarter Negro, and pale-skinned enough to pass as white, yet identifies strongly with 'her people' (whether this is because of her racial background or her seven years as a slave is unclear). It got old quickly, because it seemed that every reference to her background was merely an excuse to include yet another sermonette on the evils of slavery or the sufferings of the poor Negros. There were also allusions to Morgan, the poor little rich boy, being a slave to the expectations of the rich, which I found rather distasteful in the light of actual slavery, both in the past and in the present day.
I got annoyed by the anachronisms, factual errors and some very strange uses of the English language, all of which served to pull me further out of a story that I was finding it hard to get in to in the first place. There was also a fair sprinkling of cringe-worthy words and phrases, including 'she spat the words' and ‘he ground out’. I can only conclude that I’ve grown out of this kind of writing.
Thanks to Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.