Whither Thou Goest

Written by Anna Belfrage
Review by Theresa Tomlinson

Set in Maryland, this well-produced volume continues the saga of Alexandra Lind. Along with her seventeenth century husband Matthew Graham, this intrepid, time-travelling woman sets off on a new and risky adventure to Barbados, in the hopes of rescuing their nephew Charlie, who has been condemned to perpetual slavery, following the Monmouth rebellion. Along the way they meet pirates, despicable plantation owners, near death and drowning.

Many threads from previous books weave their way in and out of the story, and I particularly enjoyed the satisfying conclusion to their daughter Sarah’s sad tale. Another fascinating continuing theme is that of the enigmatic native chief Qaachow and the Graham’s half-Indian son Samuel/White Bear. Despite this being the seventh volume in the saga, I think that the skilful storytelling, which romps along at a marvellous pace, would allow the book to stand alone.

This is a real page-turner with despicable villains and a very human heroine who, though now ageing, still enjoys a passionate and earthy relationship with her engaging husband. Though the story is filled with vivid characters, thrilling events and a touch of fantasy, the period detail feels well researched and realistic. Religious differences are described in depth and at every stage of the exciting journey there is a strong sense of place. I am filled with admiration for the way Anna Belfrage keeps this saga developing, with enticing hints at the possible future and the past. I highly recommend it.