Shelf Control #107: In the Land of the Long White Cloud

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: In the Land of the Long White Cloud
Author: Sarah Lark
Published: 2007
Length: 717 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Helen Davenport, governess for a wealthy London household, longs for a family of her own—but nearing her late twenties and with no dowry, her prospects are dim. Responding to an advertisement seeking young women to marry New Zealand’s honorable bachelors, she corresponds with a gentleman farmer. When her church offers to pay her travels under an unusual arrangement, she jumps at the opportunity.

Meanwhile, not far away in Wales, beautiful and daring Gwyneira Silkham, daughter of a wealthy sheep breeder, is bored with high society. But when a mysterious New Zealand baron deals her father an unlucky blackjack hand, Gwyn’s hand in marriage is suddenly on the table. Her family is outraged, but Gwyn is thrilled to escape the life laid out for her.

The two women meet on the ship to Christchurch—Helen traveling in steerage, Gwyn first class—and become unlikely friends. When their new husbands turn out to be very different than expected, the women help one another in ways they never anticipated.

Set against the backdrop of colonial nineteenth-century New Zealand, In the Land of the Long White Cloud is a soaring saga of friendship, romance, marriage and adventure.

How and when I got it:

I bought this book several years ago after spotting a Kindle price drop.

Why I want to read it:

I was fortunate enough to travel to New Zealand about 10 years ago, and it was an absolutely incredible trip. Since then, I’ve been keeping an eye out for historical fiction set in New Zealand. The plot sounds terrific — definitely something I’d enjoy — but I think I’ve been hesitant to actually start the book because of its length, and the fact that it’s the first in a trilogy (and all three books are looooong). One of these days…

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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

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2 thoughts on “Shelf Control #107: In the Land of the Long White Cloud

    • Thanks so much! I love to read historical fiction about a place I’m planning to visit — it really adds so much to my appreciation of what I see and experience.

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