MaryLu Tundall has crafted yet another exceptional story in Veil of Pearls—a tale set in 1810 Barbados and South Carolina that’s rich in romance, suspense, and faith.
Adalia Winston is beautiful, with dark hair and pale skin—a trait that belies the fact that she’s one-quarter black. As a child in Barbados, she was kidnapped and enslaved by a greedy, loathsome master. Years later, Adalia manages to escape and flees to Charleston, South Carolina, hiding her heritage and hoping to support herself with her healing skills and knowledge of herbs.
She finds employment … and a whole lot more. Wealthy, spoiled Morgan Rutledge, son of a plantation owner, finds Adalia too beautiful to resist. Although she dislikes him and all he stands for, Morgan is more complex than she assumed, and she is drawn to him, even though he doesn’t share her Christian faith. When he invites her to take part in glittering Charleston society with him, she can’t say no to the fun and grandeur—and if she convinces Morgan to trust God, then all the better.
But living under the threat of her secret being revealed is a heavy price. Especially when she loses her heart to Morgan.
Tyndall writes a well-crafted story. As always, her settings are fascinating, and her characters are multi-dimensional and flawed. I appreciate how Adalia—while a faithful Christian—makes poor choices at times, just like the rest of us do. She’s distracted by worldliness and in denial about the nature of her relationship with Morgan. Morgan has a journey to undertake, too. He’s blind to the cruelty of slavery, and he’s enslaved by familial expectation, although he yearns to leave the plantation behind captain a ship.
Veil of Pearls is an engrossing novel. While it covers some heavy topics, like slavery, justice, and rape, there are also light moments to balance the story. I was rooting for Adalia and Morgan, and had to keep turning the pages to discover what happened next.
On a side note, this cover is gorgeous, isn’t it?
I highly recommend Veil of Pearls. And right now, it's only $1.99 on Kindle!