|Pengelly's Daughter by Nicola Pryce|
|Category: Historical Fiction|
|Reviewer: Louise Jones|
|Summary: Rose Pengelly puts her life in danger as she searches for evidence that will restore her family to its former position. A mysterious man called Jim offers to help her, but can he really be trusted?|
|Buy? yes||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 448||Date: July 2016|
|Publisher: Atlantic Books|
Rose Pengelly is only too aware that she is living in a man's world. Independent, strong and well-educated, she has dreams of running the family boatyard, but she knows that her dreams can never come true. A woman's job is to bear children and run the home; it is the way things have always been and the way that they always will be. Now, according to Rose's mother, it is particularly important that Rose secures a good marriage, as her father's poor business decisions have left the family bankrupt and on the verge of destitution. Wealthy timber merchant Mr Tregellas is only too happy to help the family out, in exchange for Rose's hand in marriage, but Rose despises him and suspects that he is responsible for the family's bad fortune. If only she can find evidence to implicate him, there may be a chance to escape from this seemingly hopeless situation.
Pengelly's Daughter is a fast-paced adventure/romance story with plenty of surprise twists and turns, making it the sort of novel that is impossible to put down. The story centres on our spirited and intelligent protagonist, Rose, and her quest to restore her family position. One fateful night, she meets a mysterious man called Jim, who is on the run from a murderous assailant. When she saves his life, he offers to help her search for the evidence she needs to save her family. But can Jim be trusted, or does he have his own reasons for wanting to help Rose? Their tentative relationship proves to be a difficult one, as Jim seems to betray Rose at the key moments that she chooses to put her trust in him.
I absolutely loved everything about this story, as it is so much more than just a historical romance. At its heart, Pengelly's Daughter is a swashbuckling adventure, that will have readers on the edge of their seats. Just when I thought it was safe to relax, poor Rose would be thrown headlong into another perilous situation and I couldn't wait to see how she would manage to escape! The exciting storyline, memorable characters and gorgeous Cornish setting create an irresistible combination, with all of the ingredients for a perfect story. I also loved the way that the relationships between the characters developed, especially Rose's changing attitude to her mother, as she grows up and moves on from being 'Daddy's little girl.'
The book is extremely well researched and as it it set in Cornwall in 1793, there is a lot of period detail that makes the story a truly immersive one. As part of the story is set in a boatyard, the author has gone to great lengths to accurately describe the boat making process and use the correct historical terminology. She also gives us a fascinating glimpse into the politics of the time and how corrupt the political system was.
I like the way that the author has left things open for a sequel, leaving a few plot threads open for possible continuation in future books. I dearly hope, so, as I'd love to see what the future holds for Rose; she is such a strong and memorable character. I really hope that this book is the first in a series, as I was sad to see it end and desperately want more!
If, like me, you love a good, old-fashioned swashbuckling romance, Bookbag recommends Mistress of the Sea by Jenny Barden, another heavenly slice of pure escapism.
You can read more book reviews or buy Pengelly's Daughter by Nicola Pryce at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Pengelly's Daughter by Nicola Pryce at Amazon.com.
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