Melanie Dickerson (Author)
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; Original edition (November 29, 2011)
An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff---a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past. Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.
Combine Jane Eyre with a bit of Beauty and the Beast and you might have found yourself in The Merchant's Daughter. Earlier this year I found myself reading Melanie Dickerson's debut being a mixture of Tristan and Isolde with Sleeping Beauty in The Healer's Apprentice. I was very delighted to learn that this fall she had something new in The Merchant's Daughter. Again I have the same qualm as before in that... my first and only qualm is that this book is listed as young adult. I don't agree with that, it's not a teen novel. It is shorter than my normal read, but it is definitely one for girls of marriageable age and boy is it an adventure. ... but then perhaps I just do not understand the genre behind "young adult" as I thought I did.
In a way, there is even a bit of Cinderella here. Not in the plot line perhaps, but in the personality of Annabel. There is not magic in the sense of the Disney Beauty and the Beast, he doesn't suddenly float in the air and become beautiful. In a sense, it's always there, just marred and hidden until an unexpected (to him) healing can occur. Yet... isn't that what the entire book is about? You read it, and tell me. :)
*Thanks to Zondervan for providing a copy for review.*
Reviewed by: Margaret Chind