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THE BEST OF DAUGHTERS: a novel ~Dilly Court


1912-1917 are the years covered in THE BEST OF DAUGHTERS a novel which takes place in primarily London and a country home 4 hours from the city.  It is during this time period that the Suffragettes are demanding the vote, big estates are breaking apart and old money is moving away from traditional roles, and there are the rumblings of WWI.

Daisy’s father’s business partner bankrupts his business and the family is forced to move to their small country home and start again.  Gone the fancy dresses and vote rallies, parties and social life, gone are the servants and cooks, and gone are the now married chums into the arms of their husbands and family money.

What is a gal to do?   21 and nearly a spinster, wanting to have both worlds of enough money, important work to accomplish and never having tested her feelings, Daisy is now doing the marketing and cooking to keep her family going as they begin again.  Should she marry her childhood friend or look elsewhere; is life just from father to husband? What about the poor women who often have no choice at all?  Could there be more opportunities?

I liked THE BEST OF DAUGHTERS because it was the story of a young woman with lots of questions, searching and having good problem solving skills but also looking for new answers and results. Daisy just rolled up her sleeves and got the job done. The story was fast paced and although marriage and love were an important part of the story, they were not so limiting for Daisy’s choices.   Her younger sister actually benefitted from her explorations.

I especially liked learning about the First AID Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) And Dilly Court had obviously done some fine research on this core group of women who were integral during the War in France.   I loved reading about their training and fitness; how they learned to drive, ride horses, and shoot with accuracy.   They were vital to the War efforts and the story line here was outstanding.  I was reminded of the WWI story LETTERS FROM SKYE.  Lots of ambulance driving and close calls, luckily Daisy had a fur coat!

If you like the series Downton Abbey, I am certain you will like THE BEST OF DAUGHTERS.

As much as I like the flower daisy, I just could not think of the heroine as being a Daisy.  This character was presented as much more powerful and smarter that I could conjure up with the name Daisy; too light weight, simple, and happy to carry off this role.  In my simple search, I found that RUTH was one of the most popular names in 1913 England, now that is a more substantial woman.  Top 5 for 1891 when supposedly Daisy was born = Mary, Anna, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Emma. (Daisy was not even found on the top 100)

What name would you choose for a transition, questioning character?

In the post THE LADY’s MAID  also by Dilly Court, I wrote about her yellow Lab ARCHIE.  THE BEST OF DAUGHTERS is dedicated to Archie with a love poem.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s will receive a few blossoms in my bouquet!  Thank you.  Donations also welcomed

tlc logoI received a Kindle copy of this book from TLC online book tours and Random House Publishing in exchange for this review.   I am happy to share my thoughts about THE BEST OF DAUGHTERS.

Great British Reads is coming to the US! Dilly Court is one of their star authors.

Related Reading:
Walter’s Muse
Letters From SKYE 
The Paper Garden
Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

11 Comments on “THE BEST OF DAUGHTERS: a novel ~Dilly Court”

  1. #1 Talon
    on Sep 2nd, 2013 at 6:44 am

    That’s funny about the character’s name…I take ages to pick a character’s name for my novels because it can’t be the name of anyone I know…it has to make me believe in the character and it can’t, as in this case, distract from the qualities I want the reader to believe this character possesses. :)

    Hope your Labor Day is a beautiful one, Patricia.

  2. #2 Laurie Buchanan
    on Sep 3rd, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Like Talon, I’m fascinated with what your research turned up about the character’s name. I don’t know any Daisy’s, but I know a Ruth (and wouldn’t want to cross her)…
    Laurie Buchanan recently posted..Fork in the RoadMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Kim,
    Labor Day was good and extremely busy. I am happy to be back to read (it is raining) today and having a rest from a very busy summer.

    I truly could not gravitate to this name. The other names in the book were interesting too but they did not distract from the character the way this name did for me. Yes, I think it needs to be a careful choice.
    Patricia recently posted..THE BEST OF DAUGHTERS: a novel ~Dilly CourtMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Laurie,
    One does not know what they do not know – or what has been knowledge outside of their circle. This was a girl who was making a number of discoveries and learning to implement new decisions making skills on the new information she was gaining. Thus maybe not as forceful as your Ruth…but definitely smart and understanding.

    I thought of her as Ruth because of the Biblical story of Ruth, who just went about taking care and figuring out how to survive as her circumstances changed but did not abandon her mother-in-law. Her rewards were great and her stick to the job – helped her figure out what to do next and how to succeed.
    Patricia recently posted..THE BEST OF DAUGHTERS: a novel ~Dilly CourtMy Profile

  3. #3 Sara
    on Sep 6th, 2013 at 7:50 am

    I love Downton Abby and so, this book might be right up my alley.

    Perhaps Daisy as a name represented the sturdiness/hardiness of the flower. Give them a little sun and some water and they grow, some even out of rocks:~)

    As a writer, my difficulty with names is I’m attracted to certain names and have a tendency to use them again and again, especially male names. I have to remind to check to see if I’ve used the name before.

    Otherwise, I tend to use whatever name hits me for the story.

    Nice review and thank you. Have a good weekend, Patricia.
    Sara recently posted..Story Photo Challenge: Be a Movie StarMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Hi Sara,
    I do like the name Daisy and then again it just did not seem to fit this story or character. It was like a mosquito bite that kept itching.

    I do not write stories so I do not pick names for characters and probably not offer suggestions. It was a good story kind of old school plotting and I enjoyed the read.

    Hope you have a good weekend too. I have just finished two books in a row that I stayed up most of the night reading because I could not put them down and move on – I might just need a nap after writing my next review :)

  4. #4 Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours
    on Sep 8th, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I have several friend who are huge Downton Abbey fans so I’ll be sure to recommend this book to them!

    Thanks for being on the tour. I’m featuring your review on TLC’s Facebook page today.

    Patricia Reply:

    Thank you Heather…
    I think many of my friends would like this book very much.
    The author seems to have a terrific number of books to her credit.
    I liked this one better than the Lady’s Maid but they both made me want something meatier and better written. Good escape stuff

  5. #5 Sam Juliano
    on Sep 8th, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    “If you like the series Downton Abbey, I am certain you will like THE BEST OF DAUGHTERS.”

    Most interesting Patricia, as is your engaging lead in and general appraisal. Great to see you keep finding so many apparently worthwhile novel in this long run. I am going to investigate further.

    Great review!

    Patricia Reply:

    Thanks Sam, Welcome home and I value your comment

    I think Lucille and Melanie might very much like this read and Court seems to have a large volume of writing to her credit including TV drama and history

  6. #6 Dilly Court, author of The Best of Daughters and The Lady’s Maid, on tour August/September 2013 | TLC Book Tours
    on Oct 28th, 2013 at 1:36 pm

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