This is Hobbes’ second novel for One More Chapter and it’s the novel that shows just how versatile she is as an author. Taking her short story which had won the RNA Conference’s writing contest in 2018 , Hobbes has spun a magical tale of love and belonging that captures perfectly the pull of the sea and a fascination with the stories it has long engendered. Drawing as it does on Celtic tales of Selkies, it’s a very different setting to Hobbes’ last novel The Secret Agent, which is based on the resistance in wartime France, but the strong characterisation and attention to detail means that you find yourself believing just as firmly in the unfolding narrative.
The wife of a local fisherman, Effie is a somewhat marginalised figure in her Nineteenth Century coastal village – some suspect her to be a witch – but walking by the shore one evening, Effie finds herself rescuing a small baby girl from the waves. From the outset, questions are raised about identities and belonging – we learn early on that Effie is widowed when her husband’s boat is sunk the same night that she finds the baby, making her position in the village even more precarious. Effie quickly decides that she will bring the child up alongside her own infant son but she isn’t prepared, some months later, for the arrival of the child’s father on Midsummer’s Night. Lachlan is a mysterious figure, appearing as he does at the two solstices each year, and I enjoyed the fact that the central relationship was given time to unfold slowly. Attitudes to those who don’t confirm to societal expectations are explored in a variety of ways – suspicions of those ‘not like us’ run throughout the novel – and we see just how tough life could be for those like Effie.
This is another excellent novel from Hobbes – the trademark attention to historical detail and the strong female figure are there once again – and it showcases yet another facet in her ability as a writer to be reckoned with. If you want to be in with a chance to win a signed copy, head to the bottom of this post.
My thanks to @rararesources for inviting me to take part in the tour for this marvellous read.
On a windswept British coastline the tide deposits an unexpected gift…
It was the cry that she first noticed, the plaintive wail that called to her over the crash of winter waves. Wrapped only in a sealskin, the baby girl looks up at Effie and instantly captures her heart. She meant only to temporarily foster the young orphan but when news reaches Effie that her husband has been lost at sea, and months pass without anyone claiming the infant, she embraces her new family – her son Jack and her adopted daughter Morna.
Effie has always been an outcast in her village, the only granddaughter of a woman people whisper is a witch, so she’s used to a solitary existence. But when Midsummer arrives so too does a man claiming to be Morna’s father. There’s no denying Lachlan is the girl’s kin and so Effie is surprised when he asks her to continue looking after his daughter, mysteriously refusing to explain why. She agrees, but when he returns six months hence she pushes him for answers. And Lachlan tells a story she never anticipated … one of selkies, legend, and the power of the sea…
Purchase Link – https://getbook.at/DaughteroftheSea
Elisabeth’s writing career began when she finished in third place in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest in 2013. She was offered a two-book contract and consequently had to admit secret writing was why the house was such a tip. She is the author of numerous historical romances with Harlequin Mills & Boon covering the Medieval period to Victorian England, and a Second World War romantic historical with One More Chapter. She lives in Cheshire because the car broke down there in 1999 and she never left.
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Giveaway – Win a signed copy of Daughter of the Sea (UK Only)
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