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The year is 1905. Dalmatia, Emmalina's birthplace, is shrinking in the shadow of Amerika: the name of any place that offers 'a better life'. Men are leaving the country in droves. Women are betrothed to strangers and shipped away from their struggling village homes. After saying her vows in Dalmatia, Emmalina will sail to New Zealand and join Johan Turk on the northern gumfields, where men and women slave over miry ground to dig up remnants of the valuable kauri gum resin. Emmalina's unwelcome marriage to Johan becomes a battle between her desire for distance and his determination to make the marriage work. When they push one another to the limits of forgiveness, the couple must decide if a marriage of obligation, secrecy and distrust can be pieced together. "The Gumdigger's Wife" is a novel of rich detail, a blend of history and romance set at the peak of the kauri gum industry in New Zealand.
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