What a beautiful book! The end was a really nice way to end the trilogy with a reunion of nearly all the characters. I missed Daphne and the twins, and Fleur and Ruben were simply named but they didn’t play any part. Yet, it was really nice.
Gloria and Jack finally meet after years of separation. During the war Jack is injured in the lung, and thanks to Roly and Dr. Beeston, he’s saved from a certain death. Yet, after Gallipolli Jack is not the same man. He’s sent to England because he contracts consumption, and when he finally goes to New Zealand, he’s depressed. At first, he’s reluctant to go to Kiward Station and remains in a hospital where Sarah Beachum works, and only when he learns that Gloria is in Kiward Station, he decides to go there. Their encounter is not the best. Gwyneira finds herself in a difficult situation between Jack and Gloria, who are both depressed. Gwyneira doesn’t understand neither of them and has many disagreements with Gloria. Yet, Jack and Gloria become closer again. Gloria receives the letters Jack wrote to her from the war, and she realizes he never gave up on her. She should have also realized that Gwyneira was also looking forward to her return. I think Gwyneira was poorly treated in this sense. I think she’s a great character, but those around her who owe her so much didn’t appreciate her at all. Gloria learns about how hard the war was for Jack.
In a visit to Greymouth Elaine tells Jack about her suspicions about Gloria and how she probably made her way to New Zealand. Jack is furious, but while speaking with Elaine, she realizes that a woman often has no option. Much later Gloria lets him see her pictures where she has portrayed the way she sees herself during those rough times. Jack is horrified, but he later tells Gloria that he understands and he even did worse things during the war. The pair discovers that Gwyneira wants to herd the sheep left in the highlands after she learns about a horrible storm, so they convince her to let them go instead. In this journey Gloria gains the respect of every man, and she and Jack become closer. Jack is in love with her, and she isn’t indifferent, and even though she’s still scared of men, she eventually manages to trust her and give herself to him. There is a terrible storm, and in Kiward Station Gwyneira is frantic with worry. Elaine and Lillian are there with the rest of the family, but Gwyneira can’t stop worrying. It’s now that Roly tells her about Jack’s experiences in war and she also finds Gloria’s drawing notebook. Gwyneira is upset and horrified, but now she understands better the people who have been living under her roof like strangers.
Jack and Gloria return sound and safe, and they plan to get married. Lilly and Elaine help in the wedding arrangements. Thankfully, Lilly and her father have reconciled, and the story ends with a very happy ending. Jack and Gloria get married. I felt moved to tears at the end. Gwyneira thinking about her own wedding and James was touching. I think she and James had something so special. And she is without any doubt the central character in the book.
I love the books. A wonderful trilogy. The other books by Sarah Lark are not translated into English, so I’ll have to read them in Spanish. I’ll wait a bit and maybe in the meantime the translation finally comes out.