This part in the book is really depressing. 😦
I cried when James died in the arms of Gwyneira. He has been one of my favourite characters in this trilogy, and I really enjoyed the way he helped and love Gwyneira from the beginning, and his sense of humour. Poor James!
I think what happened to Charlotte is even sadder. She and Jack made such a lovely couple, and they didn’t even enjoy the chance to be happy. Their marriage lasted only five years when she learned she had a brain tumour. Charlotte was a believer in the Maori culture she studied. After learning she had a death sentence over her, she and Jack go to explore those places she wanted to visit. They go to Cape Reinga, the northermost point in New Zealand, and there she commits suicide. Poor Charlotte and poor Jack!
And the hardest thing to read is about Gloria. The poor girl hasn’t had a chance to be happy since she left Kiward Station. I’ve never understood how children are sent to boarding schools and lose the chance to grow up with their families. Education is important, but back then girls were simply raised to find a good husband and marry. Kura and William have deprived their daughter of growing up in the only place she can be happy and where she was loved. In the seconf book of this trilogy I warmed up a little to Kura and her husband in the end. Kura helped Caleb selflessly and for the first time she didn’t think of herself, and she patched up things with Elaine, and William helped save Elaine from Sideblossom. I couldn’t understand their attitude towards their daughter, though. They didn’t seem to care about her, and now in this book the same attitude remains, and the little affection I had at the end of the second book is gone. I think they’ve treated Gloria hideously, sending her away from the people who loved her, leaving her in a boarding school she hated, and not caring whether she was happy or not. They only wanted to do their will. William went as far as cutting the ties between her and Jack. They’re so horrible and selfish. Gloria feels clumsy, useless, ugly, and unloved. She only wants to be in Kiward Station, where she was happy, and she hates to be with her parents when they send for her and make her go on a tour with them in America. Gloria longs to be in New Zealand, and that longing and her naivete make her fall in a horrible trap. She tries to find the way to travel to New Zealand. An unscrupulous sailor tells her that she can only go to China and from there to Australia. He thinks he can sneak her into his ship, dressed like a boy, if she’s nice to the men. Gloria misunderstands his words, and from that moment she becomes a toy for the men she encounters on this ship and then in the one that goes to Australia. She becomes a prostitute for the men, and in Australia she flees, but when the money runs out and she has nowhere to go, she realizes she can’t do anything else, and she willingly decides to do what she knows best, let men use her body. It’s so sad!!! Poor Gloria. I was horrified to read everything she had to go through, and she isn’t in New Zealand yet. This time she’s the character who gets nothing but bad luck. I wonder why she didn’t steal from her parents to buy a ticket on a ship, but I guess she didn’t have access to their money, or thought she couldn’t bring herself to commit a crime. What she has done is much worse, and I’m afraid all this will have a serious effect on her. Will she be able to go back to New Zealand and Kiward Station? Will she be able to face Gwyneira and Jack after this life she’s led?
On a positive note we have Lillian. She’s a lovely character. She falls in love with Ben in Cambridge, but when the war breaks out in Europe, George is sent to bring her home. Lillian is not totally happy because England has become her home and she is sorry to leave Ben. Yet, she quickly gets over it, and in Greymouth she helps her father in the mine. Her charm manages to win over the competitition, that is, the Billers. And to her utter surprise, in a picnic she re-meets Ben, who turns out to be Caleb and Florence’s son. A meeting between the two youngsters is spotted, and soon the liaison is known by their parents. Tim is not happy since he has never liked Florence and the way he runs her mine, and Florence isn’t happy either, especially since the girl is the one who has interfered and snatched some suppliers from her. Lillian thinks the situation is romantic, just like in her novels and Romeo and Julliet. I think neither Tim nor Florence will be able to stop Lillian from being with Ben. She’s too determined and I’m sure she’ll win.