Jaffareadstoo is excited to start the week off with the Daisy Belle Blog Tour
1 September 2018
My thanks to the author, publisher and Random Things Tours for my copy of the book
and the invitation to the blog tour
A tale of love, betrayal and swimming based on the true stories of champion Victorian women.
Summer 1867: four-year-old Daisy Belle is about to make her debut at the Lambeth Baths in London. Her father, swimming professor Jeffrey Belle, is introducing his Family of Frogs - andDaisy is the star attraction. By the end of that day, she has only one ambition in life: she will be the greatest female swimmer in the world.
She will race down the Thames, float in a whale tank, and challenge a man to a 70-foot high dive. And then she will set sail for America to swim across New York Harbour.
But Victorian women weren't supposed to swim, and Daisy Belle will have to fight every stroke of the way if she wants her dreams to come true. Inspired by the careers of Victorian champions Agnes Beckwith and Annie Luker, Daisy Belle is a story of courage and survival and a tribute to the swimmers of yesteryear.
My thoughts about it..
There's a real sense of Victorian charm about Daisy Belle. She's feisty and funny and determined to make her presence felt in the competitive world of swimming. That she is a girl, in an almost exclusively male dominated sport, doesn't seem to bother Daisy Belle as she knows from a very early age that she was born to swim. Nicknamed the tadpole by her determined father, Daisy is happy to spend all her time in the water, although how she ever remained buoyant in the cumbersome swimming costumes she had to wear remains to be seen.
The author has captured Daisy's forthright personality to such a high degree that I raced through the book almost as fast as Daisy propels herself through the water. I was totally mesmerized by the story, and more than a little in awe of Daisy Belle's talent. She swims so beautifully and dives headlong from huge heights with absolutely no fear and yet, there is also a tremendous sadness to Daisy's life, as. it would appear, that behind every Victorian young woman lurked a man who wanted to control her.
Beautifully written, the world of Victorian sportsmanship comes alive and because the author has taken her inspiration for Daisy Belle's character from the lives of real Victorian female swimmers there is a great feeling of authenticity, so much so, that it's almost as if you were actually doggy-paddling alongside as Daisy Belle goes swimming in Lambeth Baths in London, or competitive swimming in the River Thames.
If you like well written Victorian drama with a remarkable heroine who will tug away at your heartstrings then Daisy Belle: Swimming Champion of the World is highly recommended.
|On my table|
Caitlin Davies is a novelist,nonfiction writer, journalist and teacher and likes nothing better than outdoor swimming. Many of her books are inspired by the stories of forgotten women from the past, and several have a watery theme.
Twitter @ CaitlinDavies2 #DaisyBelle