I know I'm enjoying a book when I start talking to the characters as the book progresses, and that's what I did with Matilda's Freedom by Tea Cooper. Not so much with Matilda, a sensible, outgoing woman who knows who she is and what she wants, but with Christopher, or Kit, as he's referred to in the book. His obvious enjoyment of Matilda's bottom as he viewed her for the first time in her riding breeches made me chuckle. His predicament, where he claims to be shackled by convention, had me trying to talk some sense into him.
Ms. Cooper's created a memorable cast of secondary characters, too. Kit's mother is a woman who, on the surface, seems terribly fragile following her husband's death. His half-sisters are delightful young women whose progression from society kewpie dolls to engaging young women who love the culture of their countryside is delightfully drawn. Cooper clearly defines the social order of Australia during this period of time, with its rich heritage of aborigines, convicts from England, immigrants from the United States searching for gold, as well as the upper echelons of society.
The description of the wild Australian land in 1856 took my breath away, and the twist at the ending was...well, you'll just have to read it to find out. This was a beautiful novel, and held me spellbound to the end. Don't miss it.
Becky Lower Goodreads
Matilda's Freedom is available on Amazon and iTunes and all good e-tailers. My publisher Harlequin Escape has all the other links. And here's the Goodreads link if you have space on your TBR pile!