A real pleasure today to be joining the blog tour and sharing my review of The Lost Daughter by Sylvia Broady, published in November 2018 by Allison and Busby for kindle, in hardcover and in paperback, and available via Amazon in the UK and US. And some rather good news – until 29th August, The Lost Daughter will be at the bargain price of 99p for the ebook on all major platforms.
My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the author and publisher for providing my e-copy for review. I had the pleasure of meeting the author (very briefly!) at last year’s RNA afternoon tea at York, and I’ve heard good things about her books from her fellow writers – so this was one I was rather looking forward to…
Hull, 1930 A terrified woman runs through the dark, rain-lashed streets pursued by a man, desperate to reach the sanctuary of the local police station. Alice Goddard runs with one thing in her mind: her daughter. In her panic she is hit by a car at speed and rushed to hospital. When she awakes, she has no memory of who she is, but at night she dreams of being hunted by a man, and of a little girl.
As the weeks pass and her memories gradually resurface, Alice anxiously searches for her daughter, but no one is forthcoming about the girl’s whereabouts – even her own mother is evasive. Penniless and homeless, Alice must begin again and rebuild her life, never giving up hope that one day she will be reunited with her lost daughter.
I very rarely read a “saga”, but every time I do, I wonder why I don’t do it more often – this was such a great read. I will admit it didn’t quite hook me from the first pages – everything was a bit too “sodden” for my liking, there were a few more “bairns” than I’m used to, and colloquial speech reproduced is rarely one of my favourite things. But Sylvia Broady is a superb storyteller and it didn’t take me very long to become completely immersed in the world she created.
It’s a quite wonderful, sweeping story – following Alice’s life from the disappearance of her daughter, through her time working with troubled young women at Faith House, her efforts to better herself, her training as a nurse, and her time as a Flying Nightingale through WW2. It’s a totally enthralling read, a convincing love story but also brimful with social history and the complications of family relationships.
Having lived there in the 70s, I particularly enjoyed the Hull setting, with its familiar geography – particularly the insights into the devastating wartime bombing. All the wartime scenes are particularly well done, with Alice’s experiences under fire vividly described, and the real danger the nurses experienced. And through it all runs Alice’s continuing search for her lost daughter, a heartbreaking tale. I must praise the characterisation too – quite a few of the supporting cast, but particularly Alice and her friend Talli who are feisty and engaging heroines.
I really enjoyed this one – so when I next say “I don’t read sagas”, you will remind me, won’t you? Go on, you might just enjoy it too…
With thanks to Sylvia, her publishers and Rachel, I’m delighted to offer one lucky reader the chance to win signed paperback copies of two of the author’s books – The Lost Daughter and The Yearning Heart (open internationally).
Here’s the rafflecopter for entry:
Terms and Conditions Worldwide entries welcome. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
About the author
Sylvia Broady was born in Kingston upon Hull and has lived in the area all her life, though she loves to travel the world. It wasn’t until she started to frequent her local library, after World War 2, that her relationship with literature truly began and her memories of war influence her writing, as does her home town. A member of the RNA, HNS, Society of Authors and Beverley Writers, she has had a varied career in childcare, the NHS and East Yorkshire Council Library Services, but is now a full-time writer. Plus volunteering as a welcomer at Beverley Minster to visitors from around the world, and raising money for local charities by singing in the choir of the Beverley Singers, both bringing colour and enrichment to her imagination and to her passion for writing.