Omnific Publishing|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-1-936305-46-9
Twenty-five-year-old Coral Sinclair was aboard a cruise ship crossing the Indian Ocean on her way to Kenya. Sadly, her father, Walter Sinclair has passed away and she is now returning home to her inheritance which is the plantation she had once called her childhood home. The plantation is called, Mpingo which means ‘The Tree of Music’ in Swahili. Coral’s family had originally been expatriate settlers there.
Coral was only nine-years-old when she’d left the plantation due to her parent’s divorce. It was no secret that Walter not only loved his wife, Angela but many other men’s wives as well. The most difficult part of the divorce for, Coral, other than missing her father, was attending an English school. After roaming the wide open plains of Kenya, she felt cooped up and trapped in the school, and never got quite used to it.
When, Coral was sixteen her mother married a man named, Edward Ranleigh – a happy-go-lucky man whom, Coral hated in the beginning. She just could not imagine anyone ever taking her father’s place especially where her mother was concerned. But, she eventually came around after he taught her how to ride and sail.
The year after her mother and Edward were married, they gave birth to a set of twins – Lavinia and Thomas. This was another huge adjustment for Coral to make. She wanted to move back to Kenya but those plans were very quickly waylaid by her mother.
Coral is finally home at the plantation and Aluna, her childhood caregiver is ever so happy to see her, it had been years since they’d seen each other and their meeting again was sweet. Coral also met someone else, Rafe, a friend of her father’s. He was a handsome, striking looking man with a bad reputation as being a womanizer. Aluna was constantly trying to instill in Coral what a horrible man, Rafe was. She, with her African superstitions full heartedly believed he was evil and dangerous and that he would end up hurting, Coral badly. Aluna, told Coral: “You’re like a moth attracted to a fire. Your wings will get burned. He is an afiriti, a devil. He has cast a dua over you, and you will need a kizee to free you. Believe me, my little one, there are stories about him, many stories going among the people.”
Coral had grown up her first ten years in Africa and the Africans had a sixth sense about people, it was all part of their culture. Therefore she could not dismiss so easily Aluna’s superstitions, and her words to Coral had struck a chord. When she thought deeply she realized that she really knew little about Rafe other than his womanizing. Something in the back of her mind told her there was “something about him – something primitive and dangerous – warning her to retreat while there was still time.”
Hannah Fielding is a wonderful storyteller and she drew me into the love relationship between Coral and Rafe in no time making me regret having to remove my eyes from the page for even a moment.
I so enjoyed the descriptive prose throughout the novel. I could picture in my mind’s eye clearly, the massive open plains, the wild animals like the silver backed gorilla, the black and white rhino’s, the antelope, black lion and other animals. It was an exciting feeling to get lost in the wilds of Africa.
Burning Embers isn’t the type of novel you simply read – it is the kind of book you devour! Once you’ve begun reading this you’re going to find it impossible to put down. You will totally and wholey lose yourself in Coral and Rafe’s world. You will root for these two very, very special people to love each other and forgive each other’s shortcomings and past histories. By the end of the story, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be clutching and shredding Kleenex in your hands.
Burning Embers is one of the most beautiful and powerful love stories I’ve read in quite a while. Well-done!