Friday, 24 January 2014

Review ~ Lily's Daughter by Diana Raymond

Lily's Daughter by Diana Raymond
Corazon Books

Published 24 January 2014




A poignant coming of age story set in 1930s England, told with warmth and wit


Seventeen year old Jessica Mayne suddenly finds herself alone and unable to pay her rent, when a chance discovery leads to help from unexpected quarters.

A new life beckons, while Jessica learns about past family secrets, and falls in love for the first time, all under the shadow of the advancing war in Europe.

***


In Lily's Daughter, Diana Raymond sensitively explores the hidden secrets of the Mayne family, a family to whom seventeen year old Jessica Mayne has only just been introduced. Jessica’s arrival at Huntersmeade, the home of her estranged aunt Imogen, opens up a wealth of new possibilities. However, it also introduces Jessica to her charming cousin, Guy, to Deirdre a wealthy heiress and also to Aaron, a Polish Jew, who has his own problems. Jessica's vulnerability clearly shows in the way she allows herself to become entangled in web of hidden family secrets, which very soon threaten to engulf her. 

What then follows is a perfectly produced coming of age story, which thoughtfully steers Jessica through a uniquely troubled time and which also, demonstrates Jessica’s overwhelming need to be loved and cherished. Throughout the story, Jessica has much to learn, not just about her new family, but also about life in general as the implicit trust which she places in people is about to be tested to the absolute limit.

Lily's Daughter, although originally written in the late 1980s, is beautifully reminiscent of a bygone era and captures perfectly the essence of 1930s England, and a time when when Europe was on the cusp of war. As conflict looms, long buried secrets and forgotten memories are poised to threaten the peace and harmony of the Mayne family forever.

Throughout the story the writing is impeccable; there is no doubt that the author has a natural writing skill. The story is warm and witty with an underlying poignancy which is quite endearing. The characters are believable and finely portrayed and very quickly start to forge their individual personalities on the story.  There are some lovely details and a poignant lyricism which makes the story a real pleasure to read and enjoy. It is also lovely to revisit a book which has been long forgotten, written by an author who conjures the spirit of a lost age so skilfully.



*~*~*

Diana Raymond
1916-2009




Diana Raymond was the author of 24 novels, theatre criticism and poems and a play about John Keats.

Her most popular novel Lily’s Daughter is now reprinted in an ebook edition by arrangement with her family.

PUBLISHED 24th January 2014
Corazon Books
Ebook £1.99
ISBN: 978-1-909752-09-2

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