Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Close to the Wind - Zana Bell

'A new world looped within a perfectly circular horizon, under the command of an autocratic captain whose smile could stop her breath.'

It's 1868 and Georgiana da Silva overhears a conversation involving her fiancĂ© Jasper that prompts her to flee from her home and undertake a daring journey to try and save her brother Charles from death. She hadn't been in love with her fiancĂ©, just fond of him, grateful and accepting, after all, he'll take her away from life with her aunt. Now she has discovered what is going on, that Charles may be in grave danger, she escapes and finds her way onto a ship bound for New Zealand, where her beloved brother is now, in the goldfields. 

Captain Harry Trent is getting ready to set sail for New Zealand. He has his own aims on arrival and is allegedly sought by some who believe he has committed a crime. The paths of these two headstrong individuals cross and they are destined to continue overlapping as they both pursue their own agendas. It becomes increasingly difficult though, for either of them to ignore the mutual attraction and admiration they feel.

I read this novel on holiday, and I found it enjoyable and good fun; an entertaining historical adventure on the high seas that I could escape into. The New Zealand aspect appealed to me as it's a place I love, although it's well into the novel before the drama actually takes place there; I'd have loved more time with that as the backdrop, although I did enjoy the time at sea with the crew, and the other destinations that were mentioned. I liked Georgiana, she is feisty, determined and courageous, an admirable female character when considering the period, unafraid, keen in fact, to leave behind the role society would have her play. I liked her plan for successfully getting aboard Harry Trent's ship though I knew it wouldn't last forever. 

The interaction between Harry and Georgiana was nicely done and I enjoyed the dialogue between them. There's mystery too, in trying to discover the truth about what happened back in England, the matter which Harry is implicated in. Yes, there were times when the plot could have moved a bit faster or been a bit tighter, but then the resolution couldn't happen too early as the tension as to what would happen to the two of them, and whether they were in fact at cross purposes, rightly needed to last further into the novel. I liked that there was a lot more than just romance to the story.

Overall Close to the Wind offers escapist reading with fun and excitement, there's a lot to enjoy, a strong heroine, a handsome captain, a plot with drama, deception, romance, intrigue, travel and adventure. 

Author links - twitter @ZanaBellAuthor | website |
Published by ChocLit


  1. Sounds like my kind of read. Reading your review I couldn't help but wonder how many women were like Georgina in that they married in order to escape family.

  2. Sounds like a fun book. It seems that there is a renewed interest in these adventure tales of the sea.

    I second Tracy's comment and think that lots of folks married for reasons other then love at the time.


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