The Soldier’s Daughter
With over twenty novels under her belt, and being the first author in the world allowed to follow three of Catherine Cookson’s trilogies with her own sequels, Rosie Goodwin has become an expert in weaving a highly readable story. The Soldier’s Daughter is no exception to this.
As the realities and hardships of World War II hit Nuneaton, 17-year-old Briony Valentine’s world is turned upside down. Her father is conscripted, and her lifelong friend, Ernie, for whom she has developed romantic feelings, joins the RAF. The war rages, and Briony is sent with her two young siblings to live on the large family estate in Cornwall with her grandparents, whom they have never seen, and who disowned their mother years before. Things are not all they seem, however, and Briony soon finds herself fighting her own private war against both her family and her romantic feelings. As the war rages on, and disaster and heartbreak hit those close to her, Briony wonders if anything – and anyone – she has known will ever be the same again, and whether happiness will elude her.
This is a beautifully drawn piece of historical women’s fiction. Believable and endearing characters work through their own private, sometimes harrowing, period in British history with resilience, humour and love. It is a book for people about people in extreme circumstances, and one cannot help loving them – even if we do not like them all! If I have any grievance with this novel, it is that the characters’ thoughts are a little too prescribed for me – but that’s only my view, of course. I would heartily recommend this novel, particularly to those readers who enjoy family dramas, or who like a bit of romance in the background of their reading. A truly enjoyable book.