Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig

Opening Sentence: "Can we go look, can we go look?" Eight-year-old Amelie tugged at Rachel's hand, pulling her towards the stairs.

Synopsis:  Raised by her widowed mother in genteel poverty in the 1920s in an isolated English village, for the past six years Rachel Woodley has been working in France as a nursery governess. When her mother unexpectedly dies, she returns to England to clear out the cottage, and finds a scrapbook full of cuttings from London society pages-all pictures of her supposedly deceased father, very much alive. He's an earl, socially prominent, with another daughter who is living a charmed life: a debutante, much photographed, and engaged to a rising Tory MP. Rachel's cousin confirms the horrible truth: her father is alive, with a legitimate, acknowledged family. Which makes Rachel...not legitimate. Everything she thought she knew about herself and her past-even her very name-is a lie.
Still reeling from the death of her mother, and furious at this betrayal, Rachel enters into an uneasy alliance with a mysterious man-about-town, who promises her access to her father. With his help, Rachel sets herself up in Roaring Twenties London under a new identity and insinuates herself into the party-going crowd of Bright Young Things, with a steely determination to unveil her father's perfidy and bring his-and her half-sister's-charmed world crashing down. Very soon, however, Rachel faces two unexpected snags: she finds she genuinely likes her half-sister, Olivia, whose situation isn't as simple it appears; and that Rachel herself might just be falling for her sister's fiancé.
From Lauren Willig, author of the New York Times best-selling novel The Ashford Affair, comes The Other Daughter, a page-turner full of deceit, passion, and revenge.

Review by Mirella Patzer 

I love a book that has many plot twists! And there are many in this novel! Each character kept evolving, and this kept me guessing as to what would happen next. A mother's lie, a father's denial, and the quest for revenge combined to make it a difficult story to put down. The novel is set in the early 20's, shortly after the First World War, a time of great upheaval and societal changes. The theme of abandonment by Rachel's father was rather poignant, as was the anger experienced that set her off on a course of revenge. Despite the need for vengeance, Rachel still came across as likable. The more she learned about the people involved, the more she became diswayed. In short, she had a strong conscience. As the story rushes to the climax, there are several shockers that change the protaganist's motivations. I loved this romantic, suspenseful family saga that often left me breathless. Well written! Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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