Monday, May 22, 2017

The Other Daughter: A Novel, by Lauren Willig

There is a mistaken belief that the Jazz Age of the 1920s was a romantic time of flappers and long necklaces. Instead, there was little romance in this decade where the remnants of the generation that had not been killed in the slaughter of World War I, threw off Edwardian constraints, raised hemlines, bobbed their hair, partied all night, and obsessed over cocktails. In "The Other Daughter," Lauren Willig skillfully captures the crazy hysteria of the English upper classes during this time. She makes clear that it was a backlash against the overwhelming grief and despair that had drowned veterans, and families of the war dead during and after the war.

Rachel Woodley, an English governess to the children of a wealthy, cold French family, finds herself catapulted into this mess when her beloved mother dies of influenza. Raised in a quiet English village as the daughter of a proper, widow who gave piano lessons, Rachel returns to England only to learn that her father is not dead and he has become Lord Standish with another family, including another daughter. Crushed that her beloved father had abandoned her, and her life had been a lie, Rachel wants revenge. Accordingly, she sets out to infiltrate what she believes is the happy, modern set. As she befriends her half-sister, and others, the fragile veneer peels away, and the ugly truth of the so called "Roaring Twenties" is laid bare.

* Print Length: 305 pages
* Publisher: St. Martin's Press (July 21, 2015)
* Publication Date: July 21, 2015
* Sold by: Macmillan

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