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Set in the latter part of Queen Victoria's reign, this is the story of Francis a young woman ill equipped to handle the circumstances in which she finds herself. I actually found this part of the story rather cliched, and although I had some sympathy for her I found the decisions she made irritating. The historical aspects of this novel I loved knowing so little about this before I started reading. South Africa in its Colonial period, the diamond mines, Kimberly and Cape Town, the Boers and the small pox epidemic that threatened the diamond mines. Francis does redeem herself in my eyes by the end of the book, and I found the ending to be extremely well done.