Cry to the Wind

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
338 Pages
Reviewed on 03/17/2015
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Cry to the Wind is a historical novel by Dell Brand. Set during the time of the Australian gold rushes in the mid-nineteenth century, the plot focuses on fortune seeker Adam, who we meet just as he receives the news that his beloved wife and daughter have perished on their way to join him in Australia. With two young sons to care for, Adam battles his melancholia until he is well enough to seek work again, and an old flame by the name of Joey seems determined to rekindle their very brief romance. Against the backdrop of real historical events, Adam and Joey try to make a life for themselves in one of the most unpredictable and dangerous times in Australia’s history.

I was delighted to find a historical novel that’s written from the first person perspective, as so many writers tend to stick to the traditional omniscient literary narration. Due to this, Dell Brand’s characters really won me over and I felt that I knew them well, and loved them despite their numerous flaws. Cry to the Wind doesn’t shy away from torturing its heroes with disaster after disaster, but there are also moments of true sentiment, both romantic and familial. I was fascinated by the very well-researched detail and history of the piece, as it’s a part of Australian history that I knew absolutely nothing about until now. Overall, history fans will agree that Cry to the Wind is a very human story of survival set amidst a vivid and interesting period.

Kayti Nika Raet

In this dramatic sequel to A Voice to be Heard, Cry to the Wind by Dell Brand continues the saga of the Gower sisters amid the years of the Victorian gold rush. Set in Melbourne, Australia, during the mid-19th century, Cry to the Wind focuses on Joey's story and is told from three points of view. Adam, recently widowed and grieving, leaves his two young sons in the care of family and friends before embarking on a journey to find himself and mend his broken heart. Eventually returning to Melbourne, he begins working with Joey, as the manager of one of her many hotels, and their relationship, thwarted long ago, is now rekindled and they are soon married. But Adam's depression persists, especially when he learns that Joey's always practical, business oriented mind-set doesn't completely mesh with his more traditional Victorian values. As Joey spends more time outside of Melbourne in an attempt to expand her growing empire, she meets Bart Montgomery, a dashing American businessman, and her subsequent pregnancy brings about shocking consequences.

Cry to the Wind by Dell Brand is an engaging, fast-paced historical drama. Much like A Voice to be Heard, I found myself drawn in by Brand's meticulously researched family saga. As someone who isn't Australian, learning about the country's history was really fascinating, especially when it came to frontier life. Much of it reminded me of the California Gold Rush, which occurred around the same time. As usual, Joey's headstrong independence shines throughout, running counter to novels helmed by simpering damsels in distress. While she still harbors some of the views of the time period, she nonetheless manages to make for an intriguing character, and I would love to know where her journey leads her.

Michelle Mollohan

Cry to the Wind by Dell Brand is a historical novel chock-full of intrigue, suspense and romance, set within the years of the Victorian gold rush. Cry to the Wind tells the tale of Adam, recently widowed and mourning the loss of his wife and young daughter, as he travels from Sydney to Melbourne with his two young sons. He leaves his children with trusted family friends as he embarks on a journey to heal his broken heart. He returns to Melbourne and works for Joey as a manager at her newest hotel. Joey secretly longs to rekindle the flame they had ignited one passionate night years before, but knows Adam is not ready. Adam gradually realizes he cares for her and the two are wed. Independent-minded and intensely driven, Joey continues building her family's empire of hotels and adds other business endeavors to the fray as the gold rush brings the promise of great profits. As a result, she and Adam find themselves separated more and more frequently, working on achieving success in their ever expanding endeavors. A tryst between Joey and Bart Montgomery threatens to derail her reputation and thus threatens her family's livelihood. Joey stops the affair, but it may be too late for her and Adam to salvage their torn relationship.

Cry to the Wind is an enthralling tale of love and loss, tragedy and hope. Dell Brand has created an intricate world of characters, intertwining their lives in a series of events which are believable and memorable. Adam's bouts of depression, or “melancholia” really make the reader get a sense of what it must have been like in those days, to suffer from mental illness when there were no medications to help. Joey is loyal and loving, but refreshing as a female lead who doesn't stop living her dreams to settle down as a contented housewife once she gets married. Their tale contains both wondrous and heart-wrenching moments, making it realistic and enjoyable to read.

Michelle Robertson

Imagine traveling across a dangerous wilderness by horse with two young sons in an era when it was not only dangerous to travel because of the possibility of animal attacks and sickness, but also attacks and theft by natives in the land, and bandits. Recently widowed, Adam Cobb conquered his anxieties and fears of what might happen during his future journey from Sydney to Melbourne, where he would be leaving his two sons in the care of an old friend, to venture on another journey of self-discovery and hope to mend his broken heart. Upon returning from his journey, Adam could never have imagined the life he was about to live as he entered the busy and successful world of Ms. Joey Gower.

A Cry to the Wind by Dell Brand is a historical fiction story touching on themes of success, grief, chaos, peace, and an ultimate change in society as a whole, and individual living during the Victorian Gold Rush of the late 1800s. Author Dell Brand has created a fantastic story filled with enough action, adventure, and romance to entice the curiosity of readers of many genres. She does not disappoint with very descriptive scenes of nature, as many in that time period traveled by horse and coach, and of architectural buildings as many new stores, hotels, and other establishments were being built to accommodate the economic boost the Gold Rush would bring to the area. There were not many successful and powerful women of the 1800s and the author really piqued my interest as a reader of historical fiction by concentrating her story around a very successful young woman. Dell Brand enables readers to thoroughly enjoy the roller coaster of raw emotions, intense situations, and exciting adventures Ms. Joey Gower brings to her table and all who are seated at it.