This week’s BotW is one I picked up as a Kindle Daily Deal a couple of weeks back: Anna and her Daughters by DE Stevenson. You may remember me waxing lyrical about my love for Miss Buncle and her book back in a #Recommendsday about Comfort reads a while back and this was the first non-Buncle book I’ve read by DE Stevenson.
The Plot: Anna’s husband has died and the family’s finances are in a mess. They’re going to have to sell the London house and move to somewhere smaller. Anna decides that she wants to go back to the area of Scotland that she grew up in and starts making plans. None of her three nearly grown up daughters are precisely keen on the idea, but only one, Jane, is prepared to make the best of it. Anna and the girls move – Helen and Rosalie are practically kicking and screaming – and start their new lives.
The story is told through Jane’s eyes – she’s the plain but clever sister, who would have gone to Oxford if it hadn’t been for the money problems. Helen is pretty, but selfish and used to getting her own way. Rosalie isn’t as pretty as Helen, but isn’t clever like Jane either and tends to drift along in Helen’s shadow. The combination of the three sisters makes for fascinating reading. Anna is remarkably clear sighted about her daughters in some ways – she sees their faults in a way that many parents do not. She tries to explain her attitude to Jane, who (justifiably) gets angry about the way that Helen treats people and the fact that she gets away with it.
As the book goes on we see the girls grow and change. Jane discovers a gift for writing, Rosalie chooses security and Helen continues to be Helen, regardless of the consequences. This book is very melodramatic in some ways but also feels like nothing much happens. I loved it. Especially when Miss Buncle gets a quick mention.
Anna and her Daughters is available in Kindle or you’ll have to go and find a secondhand paperback copy, which by the look of Amazon maybe expensive.