When dreams and nightmares collide, Gwenna fights for what is hers

Awarded a Gold Quality Mark from BooksGoSocial

This is a wonderfully well written, constructed, and edited book. The story moves along at a good pace and the reader is pulled into the world and time in the first chapter.

Amid the bustling vibrancy of Auckland’s Karangahape Road, Gwenna Price is the master sugar boiler in a family confectionery business. Since emigrating from the Valleys of Wales as a youngster, her Pa has died, her domineering stepbrother Elias is in charge and she fears her dreams are lost forever: until she meets the cheeky and charming Johnno.

Through the twists and turns of love and tragedy, Gwenna, alone, shoulders the responsibility for bringing the family business back from the brink of collapse. In a New Zealand still with Victorian values, she is a young woman with uncommon courage, determination and ambition. But every success brings unforeseen setbacks.

Preoccupied with fulfilling her dream and creating a legacy, Gwenna is blind to anything that distracts her from her goal. In the process, she risks losing the one thing that matters to her the most.

Inspired by a true story.


Early reviews:

Vicky Adin takes us on a delightful journey through a Victorian New Zealand. Our companion is Gwenna, the confectioner; charming, irrepressible and utterly unforgettable. Adin is a master of her craft, her detail accurate and her historical knowledge sound. A must read for those who love historical fiction – Jenny Harrison, author of Out of Poland  

I have eagerly awaited the release of Gwenna, the next novel in the PastFinders Stories by Vicky Adin. I identified with the life experiences of Megan in The Cornish Knot, so similar to my own in many ways. My family, like Brigid in The Girl from County Clare, had also emigrated to Queensland in the 19thCentury and I enjoyed reading about life for her in both Australia and New Zealand, where I now live. So, when I was given an early release copy of Gwenna, I anticipated another enthralling story of life from a bygone era that I would also identify with – and I was pleased to be proven right.

Vicky Adin’s ability to research relevant historical events and weave them into the story of Gwenna’s everyday life does not disappoint. Her writing style captivates and engages me. Gwenna is a young woman from Wales, curious about life, adventurous, and controlled by male family members and the expectations of society. Yet, Gwenna’s story is never without hope as the author crafts events and characters in a totally believable way to bring Gwenna to ultimate confidence in her future.

I’ve come to appreciate Vicky Adin’s writing and know that I can rely on her to entertain and educate me with a story that is timeless in its subject and enthralling in its insights into the early days of a setting that I am not unfamiliar with today – Stephanie

A wonderful addition to Vicky Adin’s list of great historical novels.

Set in Auckland at the turn of the 20th century, the story centres on the lives of the Price family, sweet makers who emigrate from Wales to Auckland New Zealand, searching for better lives for themselves. Along with the political upheavals and challenges of settling into a new and different social environment; the very foundations of their commitment to each other are tested by a series of completely unpredictable experiences.

It is Gwenna who holds the family together. Through a roller coaster of love and tragedy, it is Gwenna who shoulders the responsibility of bringing the family business back from the brink of collapse and ensures the financial security of the other members. A powerful woman, she strides the streets of early Auckland with courage and determination.

An absorbing read, this fast-paced novel once again demonstrates Vicky Adin’s trade mark flair for telling great historical stories – Erin.