Thursday, January 16, 2014

Book Review: The Merchant's Daughter

The Merchant's Daughter. Melanie Dickerson. 2011. Zondervan. 285 pages. [Source: Library]

I really loved rereading The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson. It is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, a realistic retelling minus the magic, I suppose. The heroine is a beautiful young woman, Annabel. Annabel's father was a wealthy merchant, but, his ship was lost and he was heavily in debt. Annabel's mother and brothers refused to serve their lord by working their required number of days per year in the field. (They could not afford to pay to opt out of manual labor.) Soon after the novel opens, Annabel learns that one member of her family will have to enter the service of Lord le Wyse for three years. Though she has two older brothers, she has a feeling the only one doing the working will be herself. Of course, entering into service isn't her only option. One of her brothers has graciously accepted a marriage proposal on his sister's behalf. He has promised Bailiff Tom that Annabel would just love to marry him. She despises him. Working for Lord le Wyse has to be better than marrying a man she absolutely hates, right?! 

So Lord le Wyse when we first meet him isn't exactly a people-person. Ranulf doesn't make a great first impression: he's got more than his fair share of scars on his face and one of his hands is disfigured. (He comes by these injuries honorably, but, most don't know the story, or, at least the full story.) 

There is not an instant connection between Annabel and Lord le Wyse. He's distrustful for better or worse: she's new, she's young, she's beautiful. She fears that his bad temper is more than surface deep. But these two grow closer and closer and closer. And it begins with her nursing him and reading to him. 

I loved every minute of this one. I did. I really, really, really loved it. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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