Sunday, 4 September 2011

An Ocean Away by Lisa Harris

Despite her American heritage, Lizzie MacTavish is a child of the African bush, raised along the Zambezi river by her missionary parents and determined to carry on their dream of reaching the Rhodesian villagers with the love of Jesus.  Immersed in their language and culture, Lizzie is at home amongst her beloved African people and can't imagine being anywhere else.

Adventurer Andrew Styles is on a mission of a different kind.  Commissioned by Lizzie's Uncle and Aunt to return Lizzie to New York to claim the inheritance left by her grandfather, Andrew is stymied by Lizzie's adamant refusal to return.  Frustrated and intrigued in equal measure to Lizzie's dedication to the people she lives with, Andrew soon finds himself in the role of protector as a village kidnapping spirals out of control as tribal divisions run deep.

Forced to flee as the danger escalates, Lizzie and Andrew return to New York to unravel the conditions of her grandfather's will.  Out of her depth in society, Lizzie soon discovers that the danger has followed her across the ocean and Andrew may be her only hope of finding her way home.

Lisa Harris skillfully blends adventure, romance and suspense in An Ocean Away set in 1920s Rhodesia and New York.  The Dark Continent comes alive with its wide savannahs, caring people and the occasional rampaging hippo!  There is an appealing authenticity to Lisa's characters as both Lizzie and Andrew reveal their weaknesses, fears and secrets.  The story encompasses many threads without confusion from tribal wars, missionary life, high society, greed, spiritual revelations and much more.  As Andrew confronts his past and Lizzie contemplates her future, the romantic element is played out with refreshing depth and insight.  The primitiveness of Africa and the exclusivity of New York high society play out through the eyes of these characters, revealing the good and the bad of both.  The suspense is woven throughout the story with enough clues and red herrings to keep the reader guessing for the most part.  Lisa's familiarity and love for Africa shines and no doubt her own experiences as a missionary add to the intensity of this engaging tale.

As seen at TitleTrakk

With thanks to Summerside Press for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Paige & Nick (Blood Covenant)
Review of Blood Ransom
Character spotlight on Natalie & Chad (Blood Ransom)
Interview with Lisa
Visit Lisa's website and blog
Buy Lisa's books at Amazon or Koorong


Holly Renee said...

This book sounds very interesting! Thank you so much for sharing!

Gill - That British Woman said...

sounds like my sort of book,

Gill in Canada

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