Miss Mary's Daughter by Diney Costeloe
Published: 15th February 2018
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Available on Kindle
After her mother's death, twenty-year-old Sophie Ross is left orphaned in London. With no money and little chance of an income, she tries to get work as a governess to avoid destitution. Now alone in the world, she only has the company of her erstwhile nursemaid and faithful friend, Hannah.
But unbeknown to Sophie, her mother instructed Hannah to post a letter to Trescadinnick House in Cornwall upon her death. The letter will be the catalyst that changes Sophie's life forever as she learns of her mother's romance, marriage and then ultimate rejection by her own father and the estranged family she left behind in Cornwall.
The Penvarrow family welcome Sophie and Hannah into their fold, but tensions rise and family secrets are revealed as Sophie attempts to rebuild her life and find happiness.
Diney Costello’s latest historical saga Miss Mary’s daughter is set in the 1880s predominantly on the rugged Cornish coast and features the Sophie Ross who has been reunited with her estranged family the Penvarrow’s of Trescadinnick.
Twenty-year-old Sophie Ross has just lost her mother and apart from her housekeeper Hannah is totally alone in the world. Until the unexpected arrival of her Aunt Matty, her late mother’s twin sister. Sophie’s mother Mary had been cast from the family years ago when she went against her father’s wishes and ran off to marry John Ross. On her deathbed Mary writes to her estranged family begging them to help Sophie and bring her into the family she’s never known. Summoned by her grandfather Thomas Penvarrow who has been left with no legitimate heir to the Trescadinnick estate, Sophie makes her way to Cornwall to meet her new family.
Sophie’s arrival is met with mixed reactions. Her Aunt Louisa is distant as she was hoping her step-son Charles would be the heir to Trescadinnick, but his daughter AliceAnne is happy to have somebody take a little more notice of her. It’s not just family members that are impacted by Sophie’s arrival, local Doctor Nicholas Bryan is instantly taken with the newcomer to the village. As Sophie settles in she begins to uncover a family secret which could change everything.
I loved this book and was instantly drawn into the story of Sophie and her new family and it got even better when there was the added mystery of the locked room. It did slow down in pace during the middle of the story but I think that’s needed in a story when there are so many characters and their histories to discover. It did pick up pace towards the last third of the book and ended with quite a dramatic twist. I found it a joy to read all the way though and like other novels I’ve read by Diney Costello I was sad when it finally came to an end.
Sophie as a character changed quite a lot throughout this novel and it was great to go on that journey with her. At the start she’s petulant and its obvious she’s been the adored only child of her parents. Learning to take charge of her own life comes as a shock to her but by the end of the novel she’s grown enough to stand up to the men around her and not be pushed into things.
One of my other favourite characters was little AliceAnne, she doesn’t say much throughout the book but its obvious she’s a smart kid and a very good judge of character and her enthausiam for life and learning never failed to make me smile. All the other characters are well written and give a good mix of personalities to the story making it feel more real.
I loved everything about this novel it’s an intriguing plot with a well-rounded group of characters and a beautifully written setting which really did feel like 1880s Cornwall would have been. This is the perfect novel for anyone who likes Lyndsey Hutchinson, Rosie Clarke or Nadine Dorries.
Thank you so much to Head of Zeus for sending me a copy to review and inviting me to be part of the blog tour.