Be swept away to Charleston of 1811, a city bustling with immigrants like Adalia, who is a runaway slave so light-skinned that no one guesses her past. Terrified her secret will be discovered, she settles into a quiet life making herbal remedies for a local doctor. But when Morgan, the handsome son of a prominent family, sweeps her into his glamorous world—a world in which the truth about Adalia’s heritage would ruin them both—suspicions and petty jealousies are aroused. What will Morgan do when he discovers that the woman he has fallen in love with is a runaway slave?
This book was brilliant. Absolutely beautiful.
So, the story is that Althea, a slave, runs away and travels to Charleston in order to escape her brutal owner. She changes her name to Adalia and gets a job as a physician’s aid. While settling into the slavery-infested city, she meets and falls in love with Morgan Rutledge, a wealthy son of a slave-holding plantation owner. Obviously, conflicts arise.
The romance was beautiful. I never felt like telling Adalia she was an idiot for falling in love with a slave owner because the romance is so well done. I adored Morgan. He was so sweet and gentlemanly and…oh, just incredible. Their relationship developed realistically and grew into a beautiful, true love. It was perfection. It was amazing how Adalia managed to hang on to her faith after all she goes through. It’s truly impressive and awe-inspiring how, no matter what, she believes in her faith. Even if you’re not Christian, you will respect and admire Adalia for her strength of faith.
The story was constant tension. Emerald, a woman who seeks Morgan’s affections, tries to separate them, society frowns upon the relationship, and there is always the threat of Adalia’s owner finding her and taking her back to the horrible life she had in Barbados. The ending was magnificent. I truly couldn’t imagine a better end to a beautiful story.
If I could change one thing, it would be the time period. This is set in the early 1800s, when the abolition was still just beginning to grow. Now, I like the time period and it really raises some questions on how people then justified the morality of such brutality. But I kind of wish this was set closer to the Civil War and the consequent end of slavery by the 13th amendment. It would have been nice to see how the characters, both pro and anti-slavery, would have reacted to the decisive end to the institution. But that’s only because of my curiosity.
But, truly, Veil of Pearls is beautiful. It is a magnificent love story that manages to make your heart ache and sing in one sitting. It takes an unflinching look at the realities of slavery and the assumptions of its morality and permanence present at that time.
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!