Published March 18, 2013
Mass Market, 448 pages (includes excerpt of The Workhouse Girl)
Last week I reviewed The Lady's Maid by Dilly Court which I truly enjoyed. (Read my review.) I liked The Best of Daughters even more. It takes place between 1912 and 1917 during the first World War years that signalled so much change in society, from the role of women to the class status. In many ways it reminded me of Downton Abbey.
Daisy Lennox grew up in a privileged household but she longs for more in life than just to be married and to become the lady of the house entertaining social events. When her father's business faces ruin, her family is forced to move to the country. Daisy eventually becomes engaged to her childhood friend, Rupert, a wealthy man with status, but she feels stifled from all the social obligations her new role will entail. Just before they are to marry, war is declared and Rupert who enlisted is now fighting. Daisy takes matters into her own hands and joins the FANYs, an organization of brave women who gave up their comfortable lives and were trained to help nurse the injured soldiers right in the midst of the battlefields.
Once again, Court entertained me right from the first page down to the last. The story is full of action and memorable characters brought to life through Court's deft penmanship and stirring dialogue. Daisy is a great character, vulnerable and struggling to find her place in her world, but courageous, bold and patiently striving to attain it. I love how Court developed her character from a naive young woman to one who experiences the horrors of war and comes out a mature and determined woman who makes the most of her experiences to pave the way for women who are strong and who work for a better society.
There are twists and turns in the plot and Court kept me guessing as to what would happen to the characters. Nothing was ever predictable or boring. The characters are flawed but likable and they seemed very real to me. I could very well see this story turned into a BBC mini-series.
Note: This book is rated C = clean read.
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Dilly Court grew up in North-east London and began her career in television, writing scripts for commercials. She is married with two grown-up children and four grandchildren, and now lives in Dorset on the beautiful Jurassic Coast with her husband.
Dilly is a Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling author in the UK, where she has sold over a million books to date. Her books have this year been released for the first time as ebooks in the United States. Print and e-editions are available in Canada and Australia.
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