WHITE ORCHID by Henrietta Mason


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Romance via reality in the New Hebrides is the lot of Mary Gray, orphaned and on her first job. Rumors about her new employer, Le Noir, are confirmed when she arrives from New Zealand, and her charges turn out to be six half caste girls, his daughters by a native woman, who are throughly disliked by his second wife, Adele. Mary turns chicken, but since no boat is to call at the island for months, she is stuck with the job of taming the youngsters, getting along with the lying Adele, putting up with the frank criticism of Joe Ballantyne, the plantation manager, and dreaming about Roger Barton, an American research scientist working nearby. There are native ceremonies; one of her pupils runs away and Le Noir brings her back dead; she wins the other five, saves their lives and protects them during a hurricane. And when the chance comes to leave with Roger, she discovers that it is Joe and the girls with whom she wants to stay. The humanizing of a little prig (which may or may not have been influenced by South Pacific) has an exotic atmosphere for its tried and true tale.

Publisher: Longmans, Green