The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh

Frances, once living a life of privilege in 1880s London, finds herself alone and with few choices.  She can move in with her poorer relations and become nursemaid to their rambunctious children or she can accept a marriage proposal from a distant cousin and doctor, Edwin, and follow him to South Africa where he works as a doctor in a diamond mining town.  She boards a steamship for Africa.  Onboard she meets William and falls madly and deeply in love.  Her impending nuptials don’t seem as appealing now.

This was an interesting way to learn about the smallpox epidemics that ran through South Africa at the time and the inoculations and prevention that was instituted.  It is also an interesting view of the veldt since it is during a time of drought and the landscape and scarcity is brought out in great detail.  I have to admit that I wanted to shake Frances on many occasions for not seeing the worthy man she had while pining for the rogue she loved, but the heart works in mysterious ways.