Monday, July 27, 2015

Book Review: The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig

Pages: 304
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: July 21, 2015
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: The Ashford Affair and
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Raised in a poor yet genteel household, Rachel Woodley is working in France as a governess when she receives news that her mother has died, suddenly. Grief-stricken, she returns to the small town in England where she was raised to clear out the cottage...and finds a cutting from a London society magazine, with a photograph of her supposedly deceased father dated all of three month before. He's an earl, respected and influential, and he is standing with another daughter-his legitimate daughter. 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 sets herself up in London under a new identity. There she 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 she might just be falling for her sister's fiancĂ©... From Lauren Willig, author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Ashford Affair, comes The Other Daughter, a page-turner full of deceit, passion, and revenge.
The year is 1927 and Rachel Woodley is a governess to three spoiled children.  She gets word that her mother is gravely ill and by the time she reaches her side, it's too late. Her mother has passed away and Rachel has even missed the funeral.  While she is cleaning out her mother's house, she finds a photograph of a man that looks exactly like her deceased father.  This sends her for a tailspin, obviously, as she has always been told her father is dead.  After more digging, she finds out her father isn't dead; in fact, he is a earl with children of his own.  With the help of Simon Montfort, a journalist who has many connections, she plans on meeting the people who are her family except she'll be posing as someone else. She is not only curious about her new family, but she also wants revenge in a sense as she feels extremely betrayed. Lauren Willig's The Other Daughter is an entertaining historical read that brings the 1920s to life.

I felt for Rachel right off the bat in The Other Daughter. To rush home to help her ailing mother and then to find out she already passed away is a tough break. The only thing that I didn't quite understand was Rachel's reaction to it. It seemed sort of brushed over. I expected her to be way more devastated, but I guess she becomes distracted by the possibility that her father is still alive and is not only alive, but is an Earl.  

Needless to say, The Other Daughter is chock full of family drama and secrets. As Rachel assumes a new identity and enters the world of the Bright Young Things, she learns more and more about her new family. Some of it's good, but some of it's bad as she is starting to have feelings for her sister's fiance.  Cue the awkward tension.

Willig does a fantastic job bringing the time period to life. It felt very authentic.  From the slang, to the descriptions, to the British aristocracy's rules...it was all very well done. 

Willig's The Other Daughter is a very character driven historical read that I think fans of Willig's previous novels will enjoy. Although I liked The Ashford Affair  a bit better, I still recommend this one to fans who like quiet historical reads with a touch of romance.


6 comments:

  1. I still need to read this but I've been hesitant because of the whole "revenge" thing. I would be curious to see how her father reacts when he finds out her true identity.

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    1. Yeah, I am not big on a revenge subplot, but it was still entertaining. I think you'd enjoy it overall, Christina! Thanks for visiting!

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  2. I would've expected a bit more reaction to that discovery as well, considering she'd been lied to all her life. I like the 20s era, so it has that going for it at least.

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    1. I know, right?! I was waiting for a much bigger reaction. I love the 20s, so that was a lot of fun. Thanks for visiting, Joy!

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  3. I've been eyeing this one since I first saw the galley, some time ago; I love the 20s and I'm glad you enjoyed the characters! I may have to add this one to my list, Christina! Thank you for the great review!

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  4. This sounds great and intriguing. I'm not much a fan of historical fiction, but for this I think I'll give this a try. Wonderful review, Christina! xx

    Fiona of A Girl Between the Pages

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