In the Land of the Long White Cloud

Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
Length: 22 hrs and 3 mins
4 out of 5 stars (666 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In cart

Publisher's Summary

Hardworking London governess Helen Davenport longs for a family of her own but knows the prospect of finding a suitable husband grows dimmer each year. Then she spots an advertisement seeking wives for the churchgoing bachelors of colonial New Zealand and begins an affectionate correspondence with a gentleman farmer.

Meanwhile, not far away in Wales, society life bores Gwyneira Silkham, beautiful, daring daughter of a wealthy sheep breeder. She finds an unexpected escape when her father loses a blackjack hand to a mysterious New Zealand baron — and Gwyn’s hand in marriage goes to the baron’s son.The women cross paths on the ship to Christchurch — Helen traveling steerage, Gwyn first class — and form an unlikely friendship, one they’ll rely on when the husbands awaiting them turn out very different than they’d imagined.

This nineteenth-century saga of two unforgettable young women — navigating a new world and finding friendship, romance, and adventure at every turn — is as lush and sweeping as the hills of New Zealand themselves.

Public Domain (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
What members say
Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    335
  • 4 Stars
    210
  • 3 Stars
    76
  • 2 Stars
    26
  • 1 Stars
    19
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    286
  • 4 Stars
    179
  • 3 Stars
    71
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    20
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    282
  • 4 Stars
    183
  • 3 Stars
    68
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    17

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent Epic - New Zealand

The book titled “In the Land of the Long White Cloud” by Sarah Lark readers follow a few generations of immigrants to New Zealand from Wales and London. One of the characters is Helen Davenport who has been working as governess in London but longs for a husband and a family of her own. Helen ends up on her way to New Zealand to answer an advertisement for a man seeking a wife after the exchange of letters. Helen believes that this man who writes beautiful sentiments is a gentleman farmer but her reality is disappointing.
Gwyn’s character comes into the story when her father loses blackjack to a sheep baron from New Zealand. Gwyn is to go to New Zealand to marry the sheep baron’s son. Gwyn is only 17 years old and loves sheep ranching, border collies, and horses. She is excited for an adventure and life on a sprawling ranch. Her reality is less than ideal.
Sarah Lark introduces the reader to a cast of characters that are wonderfully created. There are the orphan girls shipped to New Zealand to be servants. The heartless decisions made for these little girls really touched my heart and I was so happy that the author carried each of their story lines throughout this epic novel, as well. I call this an epic novel because it sweeps through many years – following the individual characters’ lives.
I purchased this book as an audio presentation through audible.com for my Kindle and it was about 22 hours long. The audible story is brilliantly performed by Anne Flosnik. It was thrilling to have such a long book to listen to that was never was slow or dull. There is rich New Zealand history detailed in the story and descriptions of the beautiful south island in the early days of settlers.
I am looking forward to ready the next book by Sarah Lark that carries on the story lines with the next generations. This book was originally written in German and the English translation was excellent.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well Told Tale of Life in 19th Century New Zealand

I loved this honestly told story of the immigrants who came to New Zealand . . . Helen, the governess, who answered an advertisement to come from England to New Zealand to find a husband . . . and Gwyneira, who is coming from Wales to meet her husband. Gwyneira's father, a sheep breeder, who has gambled away his daughter's dowry, has now gambled his daughter's hand in marriage to save his sheep farm. Helen and Gwyniera become friends on the three month sea voyage from England to New Zealand, and so do the orphans that are traveling with Helen. I see that many of the reviews of In the Land of the Long White Cloud are mixed or negative . . . I highly disagree. Having listened to Bryce Courtney's books about Australia and New Zealand and the Maori tribes, (all of which I highly recommend), I find Sarah Lark's writing much gentler. Her treatment of many subjects (abuse of women by men, homosexuality, infidelity, sexual scenes, whore houses) are well written, but not down played or white washed. These things, as much as we all wish they weren't, were facts of life in 19th century New Zealand . . . The genuine friendships formed between the women, the pioneer spirit, the settling of the land and the GOOD of many people, including the Maori tribes, shine through. A love of learning and biblical truth abound, as well as unveiling the wolves in sheeps' clothing. I am already listening the the next book in the trilogy.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of my favorite series ever

What did you love best about In the Land of the Long White Cloud?

It was wonderfully written. I was thankful that the stories were very long, because I didn't want them to ever end. I was guessing what would happen next the whole time. I love stories that are not predictable.

What was one of the most memorable moments of In the Land of the Long White Cloud?

I don't want to give any of the story line away. Let's just say, when Gweneira was confronted by her father-in-law about not fulfilling her obligations.

Which character – as performed by Anne Flosnik – was your favorite?

Helen. She had such strength to leave her home on her own. She was a good and loyal friend, well loved by all who knew her. Life was rough for her, but she was always thankful. I loved her spirit.

If you could take any character from In the Land of the Long White Cloud out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Helen, of course. See above comment.

Any additional comments?

Get this series. You won't be disappointed.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Frontier Land story

A quite long winded story, narrated well, but doesn't really go anywhere.. I enjoyed the narration, good accents and quietly enjoyable

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Narrator can make it or break it...

This one was a complete turn off.
Could not continue the book as the narration was very irritating to my ear.
Can’t judge the book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

easy light listen

an average historical, novel, narrator is alright. I'd recommend this book if you are doing something that will require half a listening ear.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Tedious

This book goes on and on and on and is very tedious. The narrator is a poor choice and when she does the voices of the characters she sounds rather odd. None of the characters are particularly likable or believable. There are some obvious historical mistakes and I regret listening all the way to the end.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator has no idea of Maori Pronunciation!

Interesting story of pioneer New Zealand. However as a genuine "Kiwi" pakeha, I found the narration rather bland and her poor pronunciation of Maori words and place names grated - sometimes they were unrecognisable. The "Maori accent" of the Maori workers speaking English was also poorly portrayed.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A generational romp around historic NZ

This saga starts out in England where a 'considered' aging Nanny, Helen Davenport dreams of marriage before she is much older; where 6 young orphan girls are under the local ministries care and an unscrupulous New Zealand Sheep Baron is visiting over, looking for a herd of quality sheep to take back to NZ for breeding.
All of these individuals lives converge when the NZ sheep Baron wins, at a game of cards the hand of a beautiful teenager girl, Gwyneira Silkham. A girl who is sick of the high-society living and wants to get away and experience a new adventure. The NZ Baron wants to take Gwyn back to NZ to be the wife for his less-than-capable son Luke.
Helen answers a letter from NZ of a 'gentleman', looking for a bride. The Baron gets his sheep and new daughter-in-law to be, and the 6 orphans are sent to NZ to be house maids, adoptive daughters and potential wives.
While on board the ship 'Dublin' due for NZ, Gwyn and Helen (who is filling the roll as the young girls' guardian and teacher), make an unlikely alliance and life-long friendship.
When they all arrive in NZ, things do not go as everyone had expected and there the whole darned saga goes 'pear-shaped'.
I really enjoyed this story as these individuals lives keep connecting somewhere, or other in NZ. Good things happen, sad things happen, terrible things happen and all the paths that the reader might expect to follow, are not as straight as they should be.
There are several stories going on at once and Lark, manages them all very well.
I listened to the audiobook version of this story (22 hours worth) which was for the most part, skillfully narrated by Anne Flosnik. She has a brilliant handle on the talent of a narrator, creating different characters and honouring the authors creation. But, being a NZ local I did have a few laughs at certain pronunciations of words that she used. She was not to know and it didn't upset the story in any way.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Finally finished this book.

It was hard to focus on the story because I didn't like the narrator .

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Louize
  • Louize
  • 04-13-15

The worst book I have yet listened to

Having just been to New Zealand I was very interested in this book. The story was dire, appallingly badly narrated. If the narrator is unable to do a certain accent she should not try. A scots man with a mix of an Irish/Welsh/English accent is a joke and not a funny one. I shall be returning it

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 12-30-12

Pleasant listen

This was an enjoyable listen if not exactly gripping or enthralling. Although neither of the main characters of Gwyneira or Helen made much of an impression on me I did find myself wanting things to work out well for them both and listening at every opportunity to discover what would come next in their lives. Some of the characters outcomes were a bit contrived and neatly sewn up but overall I did enjoy the book and would recommend it as one that is not too challenging if you need a fairly lightweight listen.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lorrie Loo
  • Lorrie Loo
  • 05-14-20

Good story line badly translated

This book was chosen for our book club. We all agreed that it was a good page turner, but has many flaws in the translation. A pity it was not translated by someone British.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Emma Youngs
  • Emma Youngs
  • 04-11-19

Listen Before You Buy

I enjoyed this story but found the narration very distracting. My advice is to listen to the sample before you buy the book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for anniegetcha
  • anniegetcha
  • 02-02-19

Poor performance

The poor performance ruined an otherwise good story. The narration was like listening to Siri- emotionless and some incorrect pronunciation. As the story is good, I shall read it on my Kindle instead.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Pixys
  • Pixys
  • 12-07-18

Excellent

22 hours of Dowton Abby does New Zealand ! Superb story . I neeeeeed a sequel ! Great narration.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anne
  • Anne
  • 05-30-18

Beautiful and fascinating

A story about a dynasty at the birth of New Zealand. Beautifully narrated and could not stop listening.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for rae
  • rae
  • 11-08-17

New Zealand y

An interesting and well written book about New Zealand, especially if you know the modern country. also well narrated.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Erssie
  • Erssie
  • 10-25-16

Kindle Unlimited is not working

This is just one of many titles where the audio and kindle versions just don't synch properly. The voice narration alone is awful. Means my Kindle Unlimited membership is an awful waste of subscription if I can't Read and Listen as stated on the book descriptions in the store.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Valerie
  • Valerie
  • 08-25-16

Listen to the narrator first

The story was spoiled for me by the narration, very strange voice and style. Would not use this narrator again .

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs C.
  • Mrs C.
  • 06-24-20

The narration was dreadful

I could only listen for a few minutes the narration was dreadful. It grated on the nerves

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for GLYNN
  • GLYNN
  • 02-14-20

Story became bogged down

A shame really. Enjoyed the first half but had to push myself to finish. Would like to know what other listeners rated this book.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-09-19

poor narration

horrible narration. even with speeding up the speech. all the sentences and paragraphs sound like they roll into one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Judyth
  • Judyth
  • 12-24-18

wonderful story of the Maori and Pakeha

A wonerful story of early settlers and their hardships, cultural differences and the laws of early New Zealand.