A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

TBR Challenge: Whispers of Heaven by Candice Proctor

on December 14, 2016

The theme: A holiday read. I declare the new holiday, “National Going Off-Theme Day.”

Why this one: After browsing through a ridiculous number of books for mentions of Christmas, and then DNFing every single one I found, I craved something rich and satisfying. Also, this one keeps spawning on my TBR shelves!

Set in colonized Tasmania  during the Victorian era, Whispers of Heaven includes much of what I hope to see in historical romance. It has a strong sense of time and place, including vivid descriptions of the beauty of the land, much loved by heroine Jessie. It justifies its historical setting through exploration of the mores of the time — particularly the power differentials of class and sex. It makes an innate plea for justice and compassion without making the main characters incongruously enlightened. And though I suppose it’s not essential, I never mind a forbidden love story.

Jessie and her brother Warrick are members of the wealthy ruling class in Tasmania, but their lives aren’t entirely free of troubles. The deaths of their four siblings and father have left them to carry out their stern mother’s insistence on proper role. (Warrick has even inherited his brother’s fiance.) While Warrick is pettishly defiant, Jessie struggles to fulfill the role she’s been born to, while also finding ways to express herself: studying science, and secretly befriending the town “fallen woman” for real conversations. But when a brooding Irish convict-labourer is assigned to be her groom, Jessie begins to have questions about the ethics of her family’s way of life, and about the possibility of happiness in her arranged marriage. The more she gets to know Lucas Gallagher, the more she cares for him, leading her to the age old question: “Where is the line between what a woman owes to others and what she owes herself?”

This is an immersive, adventurous, romantic story, and Lucas is an excellent hero: brave, tortured, and able to believably say things like “Even before there were stars in the sky, I was loving you.” But somehow, though I enjoyed it very much as I was reading it, I wound up admiring the book more than I really got swept away by the romance. It might be because Jessie comes off as bland, or because the theme is a little too in-your-face… or maybe it’s just the timing. In any event, I certainly recommend it.

 

 

Advertisements

9 responses to “TBR Challenge: Whispers of Heaven by Candice Proctor

  1. quilterphyl says:

    This was among the first romances I read. I love this book. I should re-read it.

  2. lilmarek says:

    I remember reading this and being knocked sideways by it. It was so much more—I don’t know quite how to say it—so much more solid, so much more anchored in a time and place than many historical romances. I don’t remember Jessica being bland. I just remember the book being truly powerful.

  3. Dorine says:

    This one sounds really good and I’ve never heard of it so it is now added to my wishlist. Thanks for bringing to my attention. 🙂

  4. SuperWendy says:

    This is one of the many books KristieJ nags me about and I KNOW I have a print copy buried in the depths of my TBR…somewhere. Maybe for next year’s Challenge? Hope springs eternal.

  5. Bona says:

    I’ve got this book in my virtual TBR list. It had a FHK review in The Romance Reader and it was a RT Reviewer’s Choice for the Best historical romance set outside the British Isles. Your review makes me upgrade this book and I hope I will have time for it next year. But you can never tell, as my real TBR pile is awfully high.

  6. […] TBR Challenge: Whispers of Heaven by Candice Proctor Dec […]

Got something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Something More

my extensive reading

Blue Castle Considerations

thoughtations, contemplations, fulminations & other random things from books...

...Burns Through Her Bookshelf

Voracious reader, book lover, spastic blogger, audiologist. These things are some of me, but not the sum of me.

Queer Romance Month

because love is not a subgenre

Cate Marsden.

Love and Zombies. And books. And infrequent updates.

Book Thingo

Reading (mostly) romance books down under

Shallowreader

...barely scratching the surface

Olivia Dade

Sex. Banter. Nerdery. Love.

Flight into Fantasy

Romance, speculative fiction, and YA book reviews, book chatter, and random silliness

Her Hands, My Hands

The vagaries of my mind, the products of my hands. Not always safe for work.

dabwaha

64 books. 1 Champion. Get your game on.

Stop the STGRB Bullies

Your hypocrisy is showing

Blue Moon

Audiobook reviews and book reviews. Occasional opining.

Miss Bates Reads Romance

Miss Bates is Austen's loquacious spinster in Emma. No doubt Miss Bates read romances ... here's what she would've thought of them.

%d bloggers like this: