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In the Land of the Long White Cloud (In the Land of the Long White Cloud saga) Paperback – August 21, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,498 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sarah Lark, author of several bestselling historical fiction novels in Germany and Spain, was born in Germany’s Ruhr region, where she discovered a love of animals— especially horses—early in life. She has worked as an elementary school teacher, travel guide, and commercial writer. She has also written numerous award-winning books about horses for adults and children, one of which was nominated for the Deutsche Jugendbuchpreis, Germany’s distinguished prize for best children’s book. Sarah currently lives with four dogs and a cat on her farm in Almería, Spain, where she cares for retired horses, plays guitar, and sings in her spare time.

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Product Details

  • Series: In the Land of the Long White Cloud saga (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 667 pages
  • Publisher: AmazonCrossing (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161218426X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612184265
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,498 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah Lark's series of "landscape novels" have made her a bestselling author in Germany, her native country, as well as Spain and the United States. Born in Germany's Ruhr region, she discovered a love of animals early in life. She has written several award-winning books about horses for adults and children. Sarah currently lives with four dogs and a cat on her farm in Almería, Spain, where she cares for retired horses, plays guitar, and sings in her spare time.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It was very difficult for me to decide how many stars to give this book. I was vasillating between 3, 4, or 5 stars, and as you can see, five won.

This is a long book (815 pages), and the pages are bigger than the normal size paperbacks you usually see. So this was not my usual 1 or 2 evening book! I alternately enjoyed and suffered through this book for about five days.

The story centers around the lives of two young women who travel to New Zealand to meet their respective future husbands. The circumstances surrounding their marriage arrangements are, a lost poker game on the part of the wealthy young woman's father, and a personals ad answered by the other young woman (a respectable school teacher). The two women meet and become good friends during the boat voyage to New Zealand.

Each woman has hopes and dreams, but of course the happy, comfortable lives they envision do not come to pass. There are animosities between their new families, but the women still manage to see each other often and remain friends. This is one of the few blessings in the story, as there are hardships, tragedies, and one difficulty after another. I didn't know whether to applaud their endurance, or become frustrated at their inability to escape their situations.

The ending was somewhat satisfying, but of course it was also interlaced with tragedy. But by this time you pretty much expect that. So I guess it really wouldn't have been believable any other way.

The reason I was leaning toward fewer stars, is mainly because I felt a little dark cloud around me during the days I was reading this book. Like most everyone, I have lived through my own difficulties and tragedies. So why on earth would I want to relive the fictional hardships of others?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a New Zealander living in Christchurch I was looking forward to reading a good historical novel about New Zealand. What I got was a novel very loosely based upon the settlement of the Canterbury Province in New Zealand but so full of errors that it made me cringe - incorrect spelling of Maori names, american spelling and terminology and really basic errors such as the currency used at the time (pounds, shillings and pence NOT the dollars and cents used in the book). The storyline was predictable and slow and the characterisation quite shallow. Not a book I would recommend.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book begins in 1852 and ends in 1877 -- and yet the characters all speak as if they were stuck in 2007. I don't know if this is because of the translation -- but this book sets a record for incongruity.

Consider the following: "Lucas inquired about the cultural scene in London."

"Gwyneira was blown away when she heard about Laurie and Mary."

"The wild seemed a cafeteria for him."

"She called it their wilderness survival game."

"It's such a wonderful party." James looked at her probingly ... "Spiced with a good does of schadenfreude," she sighed.

And my favorite: ""No, no that's for crazies who have nothing to lose. And back then, I already had Olivia and the boys - so I wasn't about to slug it out with giant fish that would have just wanted to get me by the throat. It makes me a little sorry for the critters."

Incidentally, the word "schadenfreude," meaning delight in the misfortunes of others, first showed up in English in an obscure publication in 1852: R. C. Trench Study of Words (ed. 3) II. 29. "What a fearful thing it is that any language should have a word expressive of the pleasure which men feel at the calamities of others, for the existence of the word bears testimony to the existence of the thing. And yet in more than one is such a word to be found ... In Greek epichairekakia, in the German, 'Schadenfreude'."

But here we have characters in New Zealand using it in the 1860s. AMAZING.

The word "cafeteria" entered American English (not English English) from the Spanish around 1839.

I don't expect a book set in the 19th century to read as if it were written by Charlotte Bronte or Charles Dickens.
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17 Comments 263 of 283 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By atavism on August 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the Land of the Long White Cloud is an extremely long-winded novel about two young women who leave England for new lives in New Zealand in the 1800s. Covering several decades, the book is 75% historical fiction and 25% romance novel, and while it's not completely without merit, it is certainly not a stellar example of either genre.

The attention to detail regarding sheep ranching, the occupation of many of the main characters, helps the reader to imagine life in colonial New Zealand. Unfortunately, the effect is ruined by dialogue (of which there is much) that is flat and jarringly anachronistic. If one reads just the characters' spoken words, it would be utterly impossible to guess that the book is set over 100 years ago, rather than the current day.

The characters are reasonably well-developed, but unfortunately the author uses only a limited number of molds so they are mostly interchangeable. The majority of the characters are either strong-willed, plucky, but unlucky women or mean-spirited, misogynistic men, with a few nice but largely unattainable men for the women to fall in love with. There are a couple of notable exceptions, but the most interesting of them is killed halfway through the story.

I wouldn't recommend this book unless you have a particular interest in New Zealand during the 1800s. It's too long to be a quick and easy read, and not good enough to warrant the time it takes to finish it.
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