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In the Land of the Long White Cloud

(Neuseeland-Saga #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  14,442 ratings  ·  968 reviews
Helen Davenport, governess for a wealthy London household, longs for a family of her own—but nearing her late twenties, she knows her prospects are dim. Then she spots an advertisement seeking young women to marry New Zealand’s honorable bachelors and begins an affectionate correspondence with a gentleman farmer. When her church offers to pay her travels under an unusual a ...more
Paperback, 667 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Amazon Crossing (first published 2007)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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Maria Espadinha
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Weddings Game

“The Anglican Church in Christchurch, New Zealand, is seeking decent young women, well versed in housekeeping and child rearing, interested in entering into a Christian marriage with highly esteemed, well-situated members of our congregation.”

Gosh!... How desperate those women should be to embark in such a game. Or... on second thoughts... maybe not?! After all, in the 19th century, women were born and raised to be wives and mothers, which means they could probably see such an a
I read the English version of this novel. It started strong with the story of two women making their way to New Zealand in the mid-1800's to start their new lives as wives of men they had never met. Helen had answered an ad to become a wife under fraudulent circumstances. Gwyn, the daughter of a proper English Lord, was betrothed to the son of a man who had, in effect, won her in a poker game from her father. Both were disappointed in their lives as sheep farmers in the NZ outback.

As soon as th
Katherine Coble
I had to give up on this. I am not sure where the blame lies but either the author or the translator has:
Wales as a part of England
New Zealanders circa 1860 using the word "Mom"
New Zealand currency unit described as "dollars" instead of pounds
...these and several dozen other colloquial missteps and factual errors made the story almost impossible to get lost in.

Since it's a fairly straight-forward soap saga (a genre I enjoy from time to time) I can make a good argument for these nitpicky (excep
This is the story of two young women from England and Wales in the 1850s traveling by ship to colonial New Zealand at the beginning of its colonization. It's about friendship, it has a little romance, and some adventure. You will be reading about two heroines I found that I enjoyed both women. Helen is going as a mail order bride and Gwyneira a sheep Baron's young and wild daughter who was pretty much won in a Blackjack game. I enjoyed the narrative style of the author and could not put the book ...more
Dawnelle Wilkie
I did not expect to like this book. It's a 700 page "sweeping epic" [said with the requisite eye roll] promising small-r romance and more than you'd ever want to know about sheep farming in late 1800s New Zealand. In other words, over 700 reasons for me not to read this book. But I have a fascination with New Zealand (the impact of colonialism on native cultures, in particular) and I'm a sucker for any kind of Big Adventure. Strong female characters + Adventure = why not?!

The good: the novel sta
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book in my opinion was really good.

Which makes me want to clarify something. The reviews for this title were all over the place. Some hated it, some loved it.

It is not an easy book, first of all it rather long and some of the content is rather disturbing.

However I would like to point out the reasons why I really liked it.

The setting-

Almost the whole story, except for in the beginning take place in New Zealand. Now for those of you who have seen The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, kn
Since my library didn't have a copy, I was delighted to find that it was available for free from Kindle. For many years, I've been attracted to Australia, and have read many books about the country. This is the first I remember seeing about New Zealand, and I really wanted to read it. It is light reading (chick-lit I think) but the characters are well formulated. At first I couldn't stop reading it. My interest wained toward the latter part--it's a long book. I did a little Internet searching ab ...more
Chavelli Sulikowska
A romantic saga set in the mid to late 1800s in New Zealand. The first in a series, it centres on the lives of two very different young women, each embarking from Wales on a new life in one of the colonies. While they are from vastly different backgrounds, Gwyneira, a lord’s daughter, and Helen, a struggling governess, they are both destined to marry men they have never met, in this new land of sheep farming at the end of the world.

Lark’s story covers not only the individual struggles of these
Sara Snow
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The funny thing is that I read this book while nursing my second daughter, and I read The Thornbirds while nursing my first. The two books were similar in many ways...multi generational stories about life, love, and working the land despite what nature has dealt them. It was a fun read and interesting as I hadn't given much thought to New Zealand as a country before. Plus I love those "as God as my witness" powerful female characters who work their fingers to the bone day in and day out just to ...more
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so sad I finished reading it! What a great novel. I watched the characters unfold beautifully and came to love them, hate them and love them again. A story about being true to yourself, finding your place in the world, and ultimately conquering obstacles through love. Beautiful story and beautifully written.
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Great start. Not so great ending. I know this wasn't about reading a master piece in Literature, but I had listened to so many good comments about this saga that I thought it would be really great. Lark really grabbed me at first: interesting plot about two different girls who go to the almost unexplored New Zealand to marry men they don't know. Well told and apparently interesting characters, Helen and Gwyneira. Besides, there were so many elements that could have built a wonderful story: six o ...more
Sep 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
More rape than romance.

I had picked this up as a light romantic complement to my other dark/scary/serious reads. I thought this would be a historical fiction version of my favorite romance series Escape to New Zealand. It's none of those things. It's a sad rapey VC Andrews kind of story. And not the good VC Andrews. No it is not. I grant you that I put this book down at 60% when one of the main male characters was asking himself if killing a baby animal would make him a man. I had one answer:

Will Ansbacher
Dull dialogue and clichéd writing; historical fiction – romantic possibly, but I did not get far enough to find out. What prompted me to put this on the wanted list? Probably some overblown review in the Globe & Mail. ...more
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I probably could finish this if I exerted a little energy, but I just don't feel like it. It wasn't badly written, I just got bored.
Nelda Pearson
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up through a daily deal on Kindle. So glad I did. Written originally in German and translated by an American, this is the first in a series about the settlement of New Zealand. It focuses on the lives and fortunes of two English women and their children. Gwyneira is the third daughter of a Welsh lord, sheep farmer, and dog and horse breeder. Gerald Warren, a New Zealand sheep baron, comes to their estate to buy prize sheep for breeding and spots Gwyneira, for heir breeding. He "win ...more
Tanja Berg
This was absolutely the right book at the right time. A sprawling family saga set in New Zealand, with feisty female characters and plenty of drama. I read it in the original German, which was absolutely a plus. Although it slows me down, I love to read in German. I find it a beautiful language with unique expressions. The only thing that slightly irritated me with the writing was the excessive use of exclamation marks, but I got used to it.

Two young women from very different stations in life, e
I didn't manage to finish this book. I liked the plot and the characters, but since I don't speak German, I had to buy a copy in my language, Croatian. I don't want to say the translation is bad, because it obviously isn't, I checked the English version, too. However, the syntax is rather off. Sentence construction and word order aren't exactly "Croatian", they are more characteristic of the Germanic languages. This really bugged me throughout almost whole book, because I like a nice word flow. ...more
Every once in a while, I try a new genre ... and fail.
It's not the book's fault, it's not the author's fault, it just wasn't for me.
I like my love stories short, clear and sweet instead of realistic and spanning years. So, nope, not for me.
Shame, since I have a soft spot for New Zealand ever since I've spent eight months there.
Lee Roversi
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a summer with many beach days demands a fine historical novel and this one delivers. not to be confused with an excellent book - this is an engaging and fun read. i really liked it, as i did my afternoons with it at the beach.
My favourite genre (historical fiction) combined with my favourite country (New Zealand). What could be better? Well, quite some things, as it turns out.

The book had a slow start for me, I thought the writing was a bit mediocre and the story didn't attract me so much. Luckily, after a few chapters, I got used to the writing, the story moved from England to New Zealand which made it more interesting, and I accepted the fact that instead of a beautiful historically rich family saga I would have t
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!
Where to start? So many things to say about this book. The first thing I noticed was the cover, it got my attention and made me find out about it. After reading a bit about what it was about I went to get it.
The XIX century was tricky for women, they were usually told what to do, who to marry, what was expected from them. They usually followed instructions and found out was to make the best out the situation they found themselves.
Helen is an "older woman" for that time, about to beco
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is historical fiction, set in Colonial New Zealand. Powerful friendships are forged amongst a group of girls on a ship bound for New Zealand from London. The story follows these girls as they grow from naive adolescents and teenagers to women of varying circumstances and lifestyles, but all with power within them.
Gywn, the rich entitled daughter of a Welsh sheep farmer, bound for marriage to a New Zealand sheep baron's son. She is looking for freedom and adventure. Helen, governess a
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review is from: In the Land of the Long White Cloud (In the Land of the Long White Cloud Saga) (Kindle Edition)

I bought this book through Amazon Prime, but I would gladly pay for it which I plan to do with the sequel. If it were possible, I would give this book ten stars.

I cannot believe how several people thought this book had boring parts and drug on and on. I was captivated from page one and was still captivated on the last page. This was a very difficult book to put down.

It was a very
Sweeping historical saga in the spirit of THE THORNBIRDS about settlers in New Zealand in the 1800's. Curiously the original book was written in German and translated to Spanish before it was published in English. The translation is very readable.

The history of the era is interwoven with believable characters and page-turning plot lines. I found the descriptions of sheep farming, gold mining, seal hunting, whaling and the colonists' interactions and relations with Maoris interesting. The societa
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book about settling New Zealand in the 1800's. There are great descriptions of living and working on a large sheep ranch. I also loved all of the characters and the interactions between the Maori and the settlers. The ending is great. Enjoy!
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-recommend
4.5 stars

I vacillated between giving this four or five stars. I absolutely loved it but I don't think it was perfect, so I'm going with 4.5. It's really a great story, following many people through their life on and around New Zealand. I thought it might be more love story-ish than it was, but it really wasn't about that. It was just about life and living and all the crazy stuff that goes with that.

In a lot of ways it reminded me of Outlander, thought they had plenty of differences. It's that
The storyline in "In the Land of the Long White Cloud" pulled me along through this book -- the lives of Miss Davenport, English governess and mail-order bride, and Gwyneira, the daughter of a Welsh sheep baron are well told and engrossing. I wish I read German though, because the translator from the original German was allergic to the word "said:" characters instead "sighed," "exhorted," "moaned," "shrilled," "murmured" or "shrieked" dialogue when "he said" or "she said" would have worked just ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
New Zealand story of two women who go their to marry. Read on Kindle. I enjoyed it.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This can get a little explicit and triggering at times. Overall though, definitely worth the read. Even could sympathize a little with the challenging characters
The book is translated from the original publication in German and one might be slightly puzzled why it was written in German in the first place, since it begins with a setting in various parts of England as some of the characters have encounters with someone or something from New Zealand - this isn't at first look a political book, and if it's about prejudices of the English caste system, well, the German caste system was surely worse, not better? The then queen of England, Queen Victoria, afte ...more
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Christiane Gohl (* 1958 in Bochum) ist eine deutsche Autorin. Gohl veröffentlicht ihre Romane auch unter den Pseudonymen Ricarda Jordan, Sarah Lark und Elisabeth Rotenberg. Neben Kinder- und Jugendbüchern rund um das Thema Pferde veröffentlicht Gohl auch Romane für Erwachsene.

Sie studierte Pädagogik und arbeitete als Fachjournalistin und Werbetexterin. Neben ihrer Tätigkeit als Autorin betreibt Go

Other books in the series

Neuseeland-Saga (3 books)
  • Song of the Spirits (In the Land of the Long White Cloud Saga #2)
  • Call of the Kiwi (In the Land of the Long White Cloud Saga #3)

News & Interviews

Bryan Washington, the acclaimed author of 2019’s short story collection Lot, has returned with his debut novel, Memorial. The story follows...
14 likes · 3 comments
“he knew, but Gwyneira always drove him to desperation. “Of course I didn’t offer him anything. I appealed to his reason and sense of honor. However, these qualities don’t seem to hold much weight for him.” Terence turned away, visibly ashamed.” 2 likes
“Oh well, no rain, no grass.” 1 likes
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