From Publishers Weekly
Helena Al-Khoury is prickly, reserved and even arrogant. Also resourceful and kind, she will win readers over in her struggles against the forces of history, nature and prejudice. Helena is uprooted over and over in her youth. First, in 1860, her Maronite Christian family flees Turkish persecution in Beirut. After they arrive in Chicago, her father dies of typhoid, leaving Helena and her mother Leila destitute. Leila remarries, and her new husband Tom Harding takes them to western Canada. After Tom and Leila succumb to smallpox, Helena inherits Tom's land and contentedly settles in with his half-black, half-Cree partner Joe Black. Life again turns upside down for Helena when an uncle in Liverpool dies, leaving her his soap factory. Traveling to England, she finds a family problem in her uncle's embittered, illegitimate son and a difficult choice to make: should she stay, run the factory and enjoy a comfortable urban life or return to grueling frontier life and to Black, whom she loves? Forrester ( The Moneylenders of Shahpur ) succeeds in rendering her tale with vivid settings, particularly of Liverpool's workaday world. This British import reached the #3 spot on the London Sunday Times bestseller list.
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