Heartbreaking and heartwarming by turns, The Deserter’s Daughter is a beautifully written story that will have you staying up into the early hours to finish it.
Set in 1920s Manchester, with the country still coming to terms with the aftermath of the War, young Carrie Jenkins’ life is turned upside down by shocking news: her beloved father didn’t die fighting for his country - he was shot for desertion.
The ramifications for Carrie (whose feeble fiancé drops her faster than a hot pasty), her mother and her half-sister, Evadne, are far reaching and punch an emotional impact that affects all their lives.
As she struggles to rebuild her life, support her ailing mother and find love in amongst the turmoil, Carrie begins to realise she will have to fight for everything she holds dear, but in amongst the heartbreak and challenges, there is comfort in discovering how people can change and how even those we are most familiar with can surprise us.
What a strong, thought-provoking debut novel this is. Susannah Bavin touches every emotion in her beautifully written story, drawing you in so closely you feel as though you are watching things unfold from the corner of the street.
Expressed through multiple points of view, which I loved - especially that of the half-sisters and their misinterpretation of each other (so real) - this is a book to savour and one to re-read again and again, and I highly recommend it.
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