Miss Whitaker Opens Her Heart
Author: Jennifer Moore
Date of Publication: April 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
Summary: Sarah begins her life in a new land as a young orphan. Over ten years she establishes herself and her farm and hardened herself against others. Enter Daniel Burton; secretly a convict set free due to his rich relatives.
I’ve always had an interest in the population of Australia by the exiling of criminals during the 1800’s – its application of trying to give criminals of less severe crimes a second chance via honest labour (or being used essentially as slave labour, depending on how you look at it) is something which feels both modern and archaic at the same time.
Jennifer Moore does a great job of setting the scene here; the rolling expanse of Sarah Fields seems to jump off the page. I also enjoyed the fullness of the supporting characters; Captain Thackery and the Hawkins family felt more like just plot devices. Their own stories were equally important.
Whilst I thought it was nice for Moore to include the native aboriginal people via Charrah and his family, however I did feel they were more clearly involved as a plot device at the service of the main characters than the others. In order for Sarah and Daniel to experience personal growth, they needed to be involved in the aboriginal’s lives. Other than that, Charrah’s inclusion brought nothing additional to the story.
This is, in all, a sweet tale of redemption and romance. If you like your reads with a historical twist then this is a definitely recommendation for you.