Where Fortune Lies by Mary-Anne O’Connor

‘From this day forward she would travel towards the horizon, not expecting to find, just to follow…’

 April 1879, Donegal, Ireland. Anne Brown is seen as drab, always dressed in brown, and feels invisible. One night, she’s made feel special, she’s chosen as May Queen at the Beltane Festival.  But Anne’s joy is to be short-lived.

September 1879, London. After their father dies, Will and Marigold (Mari) Worthington are stunned to learn that he has left the money that was to be Mari’s dowry to ‘Miss Chrystelle Amour I leave a personal cheque and passage to Australia, as promised, under the proviso that she raise our child in good faith and care.’

Will and Mari, together with their artist friend Charlie Turner, also decide to travel to Australia: there’s little left for them in England.

Chrystelle Amour is determined to make a new life for herself, but fate intervenes after she is robbed by bushrangers.  Will finds friendship, and possibly love.  Charlie is enchanted by the Victorian high country, which provides him with both ample material for painting and some dangerous friends.  But Charlie also falls in love with a mysterious exotic dancer.

Ms O’Connor weaves together several different threads as the four main characters seek their fortunes in Australia. Money, as each of them will learn, isn’t everything.  Ms O’Connor is a fine storyteller, and I enjoyed this novel.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin HQ Fiction for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

#AWW2020

#AussieAuthor2020

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