Jennifer McVeigh's breathtaking debut novel The Fever Tree is both an engrossing historical tale and a coming-of-age story. Frances Irvine has been raised like a hothouse flower: privileged and adored. She has been educated to play the piano and draw pictures. Her father, a wealthy Irish merchant and an outcast of upper-crust English society, has tried to nurture in Frances the qualities that will help her have the life he could never achieve. When he dies suddenly, burdening Frances with great debt, she is left with the option of becoming the nurse to her young cousins in Manchester or leaving England for South Africa where Dr. Edwin Matthews, whom she knows from childhood, is keen to marry her. Her upbringing has prepared her for neither life, but the thought of raising her cousins in the poverty-plagued depths of Manchester leaves her stricken. With hesitation and fear, she boards a ...
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