Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Godforsaken Daughter by Christina McKenna

Hi, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Christina McKenna's The Godforsaken Daughter. This is the third book in her Tailorstown series but no worries, it can be read all on its own.

It's been seven months since his death but Ruby Clare still mourns the loss of her beloved father. The two were close, sharing a love of the land and a bond that no one else in the family could understand. Since his death, Ruby's mother has leased off the land and forcing her to give up farming for good. And while her two sisters work in Belfast during the week, Ruby stays home to keep house and care for their mother. With daily criticism from her mother and weekends spent terrorized by her sisters, Ruby has never been more morose. 

Then Ruby discovers an old case belonging to her paternal grandmother. It appears in her own grief, Ruby's grandmother turned to the ancient Goddess Dana for solace. In her, Ruby too finds comfort and the promise of change. But when Ruby's mother catches wind of it, she begins to threaten her daughter with exorcisms and a trip to the local asylum! 

Enter Doctor Henry Shevlin. Henry is new to the area, working as temporary psychiatrist while the town's actual doctor is away on research. And even with his own woes hanging heavy, Henry can offer a voice of reason and support for people like Ruby. 

I really enjoyed this read from McKenna. It's set in the early 80s, amidst the IRA bombings and threats of the era and while this isn't a HUGE part of the plot, it does play into it to a good extent. And really there are two main stories here: that of Ruby Clare and her family and that of Henry Shevlin.

Ruby's tale is the main focus of the book. She's a bit downtrodden, understandable given her situation. Her mother has never really shown any affection for her and even her mother's friends are incredibly critical of the girl. Living in a small town where gossip is gold makes things even worse. McKenna does a fabulous job with the characters that dwell in and around Tailorstown. From the local priest to the post mistress and even the town sheriff, each character - no matter how small or how infrequently seen - is rich in detail. And like any town, some of them are nice and some of them are a little nasty.

Henry Shevlin's story is quite interesting as well. It's through him that we get more of the political climate of the time. It's a bit of a shame really that his story is kind of pushed to the side in lieu of Ruby's tale. It would seem that Henry and his wife might be deserving of their own book, to be quite honest. And this is really The Godforsaken Daughter's only big downfall. I felt like Shevlin's story was too big to be a secondary story.

If you enjoy small town settings and family drama (and this family is full of drama) you'll like The Godforsaken Daughter. As I mentioned above, it is the third book set in the Tailorstown but it's not at all necessary to have read either of the previous books.

Rating: 3/5

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I love the setting - Ireland in the 1980s makes a great backdrop for a family drama!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.