Violet Allen is the daughter of a smuggler and the childhood sweetheart of Matthew Stone, a fisherman. Destiny seems to have their lives mapped out, with marriage an inevitability. That is until the arrival of a new Customs Officer, the handsome Richard Dryer. When Violet falls in love with him, she has to make a decision that will have repercussions for the rest of her life.
Brandy Row is set in the first half of the 19th Century, when Portland was only accessible by rope ferry and when smuggling was a dangerous way of making a living, but a fairly lucrative one nonetheless. Absorbing, warm characters make this a highly engaging read. The accuracy is exact and the danger of smuggling is real and vibrant.
One small drawback to this is that there seems to be plenty of ‘tell’ but not a huge amount of ‘show’ to the story. Mazey is extremely direct with her writing, leaving no room for doubt as to what a character is doing, unfortunately this doesn’t really allow the reader much room to use imagination. This is a small drawback, though, as this is a winning story that won’t so much hook you as reel you in.
An excellent story with scope for more to follow.