The Traveller’s Daughter by Michelle Vernal

the travellers daughter

My grateful thanks to the author of The Traveller’s Daughter, Michelle Vernal, for organising the lovely people at Harper Impulse to send me a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

The Traveller’s Daughter is published by Harper Impulse, an imprint of Harper Collins and is available for purchase in e-book and paperback here.

The Traveller’s Daughter

the travellers daughter

Her mother’s secret…

For fifty years Rosa kept the secrets of her past hidden from her beloved daughter, Kitty. The hurt and pain, the guilt over what she’d done, was something she could never face. But now the time has come to share the truth of Kitty’s heritage…

Her daughter’s discovery…

Kitty never knew anything about her mother’s early life. But after her death, the discovery of Rosa’s journal opens Kitty’s eyes to a whole new world-a family she’s never known and a love she’s never dreamed of…

The fate of a family…

Now Kitty must travel to her mother’s homeland, but after fifty years, can the sins of the past be forgiven? Or will history repeat itself? With a decades-old family feud threatening her future, can Kitty put right what once went so wrong?

My Review of The Traveller’s Daughter

When Kitty’s mother dies, Kitty thinks all is lost, but sometimes an ending can be a beginning.

I’m going to begin with a tiny negative. Just a couple of elements detracted very slightly from The Traveller’s Daughter as I didn’t think Paula and Steve, the wasp sting, or cow pat were entirely necessary to the plot although I understand their fuction in providing light relief as there is much that is quite emotional in The Traveller’s Daughter.

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Traveller’s Daughter, so much so that I read it in one sitting. I was gripped by the emotional opening and from that point I simply had to know the story. Well plotted, it didn’t disappoint and I put down the book feeling satisfied that I had been thoroughly entertained. I could so easily see The Traveller’s Daughter as a Sunday evening television series. I loved the romantic idea of trying to recreate Christian’s photograph and capture a moment in time too.

I was completely convinced by the characters and their situations, especially Kitty and Rosa. Having taught many traveller children, I thought the traveller lives were incredibly realistically portrayed and particularly liked the way Michelle Vernal didn’t romanticise them or slip into stereotyping. These were warm, flawed and real people whom I cared about. There is a subtle shift in tone for passages relating to Kitty, Rosa in the past and Rosa’s first person narrative which works so well that I felt I was reading about someone I could meet in the street in real life. I thought the direct speech was utterly convincing and naturalistic.

I think Michelle Vernal has a deft touch when it comes to setting too. Her depiction of France in particular was vivid and realistic so that it was easy to picture the scene in my mind’s eye. Indeed, I felt her way with words captured the setting easily as well as any photograph taken by Christian might do.

However, what I enjoyed most was the exquisite exploration of relationships. Underpinning it all is Kitty’s relationship with her mother Rosa and her desire to know about the past Rosa has so carefully hidden, but there are so many others to consider too; family and sibling, friends and enemies, the community and travellers, lovers and rivals. I think The Traveller’s Daughter can actually be read on many levels.

The Traveller’s Daughter is a lovely read. I don’t usually make comparisons between authors but Marie Vernal’s writing made me think of Dinah Jefferies. I was completely absorbed in the story and recommend it highly.

About Michelle Vernal

Michelle vernal

Michelle Vernal is an author who loves a happy ending. She lives near the Southern Alps in New Zealand with her family and three black cats. Her novel The Traveller’s Daughter was shortlisted for an award with Love Stories UK.

Michelle spends an awful lot of time daydreaming about exotic locations she’d like to visit with her family.

You can fid out more about Michelle by following her on Twitter @MichelleVernal, visiting her website and finding her on Facebook.

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