The Vines of Yarrabee Author:Dorothy Eden It was her aristocratic beauty, her fine English breeding, and her impeccable social sense that first drew Gilbert to Eugenia and made him think of her as the perfect mistress of Yarrabee, the great plantation and vineyard he had wrested from the wilderness. But from their wedding night on, as Eugenia learns more of the character of the virile, ... more »ruthlessly ambitious man she married and the rugged land he has brought her to, the very elegance and delicacy her husband prized in her soon prove liabilities. Though she is an unparalleled hostess, an understanding wife, and in time a splendid mother, Eugenia is appalled by many aspects of plantation life that her husband takes in enthusiastic stride. The convict slave laborers, the ever-present danger of vengeful escapes, the suffocating summer heat, and the merciless winters imperiling the precious vines of Yarrabee -- none of these is what a cultivated Englishwoman has been prepared to expect from life.
Indeed, the real mistress of Yarrabee soon seems to be the attractive downstairs maid, Molly Jarvis, a refuge from a convict colony, for Gilbert increasingly seeks her out for the earthy satisfactions denied him by his wife. And in handsome, Colm O'Connor, an itinerant artist who comes to Yarrabee to paint her portrait, Eugenia seems at last to have found the sensitive, thoughtful lover she has yearned for, who will irrevocably alter her existence -- and the existence of all those at Yarrabee.« less