A 5 star award winning story

Against all odds, the plucky sweet-maker  refuses to relinquish her dreams.

5.0 out of 5 stars        Absolutely wonderful   on August 6, 2017:

Amid the bustling vibrancy of Auckland’s Karangahape Road, Gwenna Price’s passion is making sweets. Her pa had great plans for the family confectionery business when they emigrated from the valleys of Wales looking for a new life, but he died all too soon. Gwenna promised she would bring his dreams to life instead – and she would, if it wasn’t for her domineering stepbrother, Elias. With him in charge, it would be a matter of time before the business collapsed.

Falling in love with the cheeky and charming Johnno opens up other opportunities, but every step of the way Gwenna is thwarted. If not by Elias, then by Johnno’s father and the restraints of a society with strict Victorian values, but Gwenna is irrepressible. Nothing will stand in her way.

Throughout the twists and turns of love and tragedy, Gwenna is a young woman with uncommon courage, determination and ambition in an era when women were expected to stay at home. There are people who love her and those who are willing to help her achieve her goal but, blind to anything that distracts her from creating her legacy, Gwenna risks losing the one thing that matters to her the most.

“Inspired by a true story from the author’s homeland, Gwenna is a fascinating insight into life in Auckland at the turn of the 20th century.”

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.

Recent reviews:

Comments from Chill’s Readers

  • This book was such a good read. I will definitely recommend. I will also read other books by this author.
  • I very much enjoyed it, light reading but engaging, the characters especially were very believable.
  • A lovely story.
  • An easy read and the author managed to make the characters believable.


We ought to be proud to have a talented published Author of historical fiction, Vicky Adin, residing and writing her stories here in Browns Bay. Hot off the press is the latest book in “The Past Finders” series, cleverly constructed by a writer with sincere passion for her characters and their lives.
The story of Gwenna, the confectioner, introduces readers to a skilled craftsperson trade from a bygone era and allows us to easily imagine the industry and everyday life of Gwenna and her family In the years around 1900  the developing City of Auckland was a more personal world, survival depended on actual skills and trades for many folk–carters and haulage contractors, carpenters, woodturners–and the founding of fledgling businesses of importance such as Turners Auction House.

Historical places and facts give credibility and importance to the framework of everyday lives, a recorded social history  sadly lacking in modern times. I was delighted to read about the introduction of Universal Penny Postage throughout the British Empire, in January 1901. As a lifelong stamp collector, that discovery was special for me.
This story is a pleasure to read and enjoy; it puts us in touch with our precious past. Suitable for young adult readers also.

Patricia Langford
East Coast Bays Library Bookchat Group reviewer
September 2017

 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

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.

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

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