Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig

The Other Daughter by Lauren WilligThe Other Daughter 
by Lauren Willig
July 21, 2015
304 pages

Goodreads Summary:
Raised by her widowed mother in genteel poverty in an isolated English village, for the past six years Rachel Woodley has been working in France as a nursery governess. When her mother unexpectedly dies, she returns to England to clear out the cottage, and finds a scrapbook full of cuttings from London society pages—all pictures of her supposedly deceased father, very much alive. He's an earl, socially prominent, with another daughter who is living a charmed life: a debutante, much photographed, and engaged to a rising Tory MP. Rachel's cousin confirms the horrible truth: her father is alive, with a legitimate, acknowledged family. Which makes Rachel...not legitimate. Everything she thought she knew about herself and her past—even her very name—is a lie.

Still reeling from the death of her mother, and furious at this betrayal, Rachel enters into an uneasy alliance with a mysterious man-about-town, who promises her access to her father. With his help, Rachel sets herself up in London under a new identity and insinuates herself into the party-going crowd of Bright Young Things, with a steely determination to unveil her father's perfidy and bring his—and her half-sister's—charmed world crashing down. Very soon, however, Rachel faces two unexpected snags: she finds she genuinely likes her half-sister, Olivia, whose situation isn't as simple it appears; and that Rachel herself might just be falling for her sister's fiancé.

From Lauren Willig, author of the New York Times Best Selling novel The Ashford Affair, comes a page-turner full of deceit, passion, and revenge.


Historical fiction is a favourite genre of mine. I've mostly only been in contact with YA historical fictions but when I read the synopsis for The Other Daughter, I knew I needed to branch out. This was my first try at an adult take and I surely am planning on reading more!

The story starts off slow but I believe it was for a good reason. We had to get acquainted with our protagonist and her life. At first glance, Rachel's the average working-class girl who has just lost her mother. When she accidentally discovers her birthright (her father's an Earl which makes her a Lady), the overwhelming truth leads her to teaming up with a mysterious stranger with motives of his own, to get close to her "family". As Rachel worms her way up the social ladder, she glimpses the real glamour of society and the reason behind her father's supposed death.

I loved seeing Rachel's determination. Even when she wavered from her original goal, she kept true to herself. Every hardship she's faced and sadness she's felt only strengthened her resolve to get answers. Fortunately she does get some. Her suitors were unsurprising as I had already guessed the candidates besides her sister's fiancé. The romance definitely could've been better in my opinion. It wasn't central to the plot but I really wished it was fleshed out more.

Every character in The Other Daughter had some sort of burden they kept in the dark but not quite well-hidden. As each came to light, I found learning about them was heartbreaking but significant to fully recognize the reality of life during that time. Cece wasn't as lively as her outward appearances and Simon was a man on a whole other level. His role in Rachel's little charade turned out to be just as I predicted and I couldn't have been more pleased.

I found the language and diction was heavy at times. It was perfect for the time period but hard for me to comprehend which took away my ability to love the story. It didn't help that the book was full of misunderstandings and miscommunications between characters. I am not a fan of complications that really could've been solved by words and patience. This is all my personal preference though!

Ultimately this book was well-written, thought-provoking and enjoyable. I wholeheartedly loved that ending :D If you're a fan of the Bright Young Things era, I suggest you pick up The Other Daughter!

3.5 Cats
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.


  1. I'm picking this book up as soon as I finish my current read, which should be today. I'm glad you liked it. Lauren Willig has been on my list for awhile, one of my friends loves her Pink Carnation series. The synopsis and the characters of this one sounds really interesting. Great review!

    1. Thanks Cassi! I'll be waiting to hear your thoughts!! I'll have to look up the Pink Carnation series too :)

  2. I love historical fiction as well but I agree, it needs to be done well with a language that is true to the era but still easy to understand and get the flow of.

    Nice review, glad you liked this even if it was hard at times with the writing/language,

    1. I hope you give this one a try then! It's definitely a great historical fiction novel :D

  3. I completely agree with you when it comes to the diction. Most historical fiction books tend to get very complicated and too into the time zone to realize that most readers don't have that type of intelect when it comes to the language used. I think that authors should really dim down the complicated diction so that's understandable by the average person. When you can't understand the language, it takes the joy out of reading. Some of my favorite historical fictions novels have modernized diction.

    Great review! I'm always looking for new historical fiction to read, this one is definitely going on the TBR!

    1. It's definitely a struggle between making it authentic or easy to understand. I always get caught between the two :S I love the ancient feel with the language so I guess it's not too too bad~

      I really hope you'll enjoy it Maria and please share your thoughts with me if you want :D

  4. Yay! I'm glad you're branching out. I know it's scary at first, but we'll never know until we try, eh? :)


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