3 out of 5 stars
Share This Review
Professor Peter Holroyd is happily married to Pearl. However, when Meredith invites him to dinner at the Athenaeum, Peter's enthusiasm is noticeably lacking. To discover the reason behind his reluctance, you'll need to delve into the pages of this book. In the narrative, a search for an ancient ship, one that has sailed the seas for over 300 years, unfolds. Authorities suspect it may be linked to a money-laundering scheme. Meredith informs Peter of an enticing opportunity—a visiting professorship at a university on Vancouver Island with a research grant that will fund his work, including an investigation into the mysterious ship.
Gold Among the Trees by Peter King is a gripping work of historical fiction, guaranteed to keep readers eagerly flipping through the pages. The author masterfully intertwines various storylines to craft a captivating tale. Peter Holroyd's arrival at the university is marked by surprises, including a clash of cultures, and his initial happiness is short-lived. He soon finds himself facing formidable adversaries, such as Professor Paul van Vervoort, who are determined to discredit his theories. Can Peter find an ally in a world seemingly set against him?
I enjoyed following Peter's quest to substantiate his theory that the Chinese were the earliest explorers of the West Coast of the Americas, along with an exploration of the seaworthiness of their vessels for Transpacific voyages. He encounters staunch opposition from both the university administration and students. Some of his remarks, as pointed out by the dean, jeopardize the university and its plans. The narrative also sheds light on the injustices endured by the First Nations, with Elisa, one of the characters, playing a central role in this battle. Thus, this story artfully weaves together themes of theory validation, historical injustice, and crime-solving.
While I did enjoy this book, three issues hindered my overall enjoyment and a perfect rating. First, there were noticeable editing oversights, particularly punctuation errors, that affected the reading experience. Second, certain sections of the narrative felt flat and read like historical textbooks. Finally, a few subplots seemed out of place and failed to significantly enhance the overall story. Taking these factors into account, I rate Gold Among the Trees three out of five stars. I recommend this book to ardent readers of historical fiction.
Gold among the Trees
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon