Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Blog Tour: The Godforsaken Daughter by Christina McKenna

Author: Christina McKenna
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Date of publication: March 17, 2015

When Ruby Clare’s father was alive, they happily toiled together on their small dairy farm in Northern Ireland. Since his death seven months ago, Ruby—thirty-three years old, plain, and plump—has become a veritable drudge for Martha, her endlessly critical mother. Then comes the day when Ruby finds her late grandmother’s old suitcase in the attic. Among its strange contents: a slim, handmade volume called The Book of Light.

The deeper Ruby delves into its mysterious pages, the more confident she feels. But Martha, convinced that her newly empowered daughter must be possessed, enlists the help of psychiatrist Henry Shevlin. Henry is unflappable on the surface, yet inwardly he’s reeling from his wife’s unexplained disappearance the year before. As Ruby undergoes therapy alongside other local patients, including lonely bachelor farmer Jamie McCloone, all their lives intersect in unexpected ways. And Ruby, alone for so long, finds the courage to connect—with Jamie, with Henry, and with her own loving, indomitable spirit.

The Godforsaken Daughter was an enjoyable read.  It definitely held my interest until the end.  The story take place in Ireland during the 1980s "Troubles".  There is really two stories going on at the same time.  Ruby's father has recently died and she is forced to stay home and care for her mother.  She leads a very miserable life. Her mother and her sister's treat her horribly. When she finds her grandmother's case in the attic, what she finds inside give her the courage to finally speak up for herself.  This convinces her mother that she is crazy and needs to be committed.  Dr. Shelvin has his own issues as his wife has been missing for over a year.  She went for a walk one day and never came back.

For me, the magic of the book lies in Ruby's story.  Her mother has never treated her well.  She was doted on by her father and after he passes, her mother's wrath gets worse.  Her sisters follow their mother's example and treat her like a slave.  Her life was horribly depressing, so I was rooting for her when she finally starts to speak her mind and fight back.  During the course of a "ritual" she makes three wishes.  You will have to read through to the end to see if she gets them.  Let's just say that good things come to those who wait!

My only complaint about the book is that Dr. Shelvin's story really didn't seem to have anything to do with Ruby's.  I really feel like they could have been two separate books.  They don't even meet up until halfway through the book and then their interaction is minimal.  While I found the mystery of what happened to his wife interesting, I didn't really see how it fit with Ruby's story other than to make the book longer.

 I have always wanted to visit Ireland and this book has brought that wish out in my even more.  The author's descriptions of the landscape make you feel like you are right there.  I do recommend giving this book a chance.  It's a pleasant read that will make you smile in the end.

About Christina McKenna 

Christina McKenna grew up on a farm near the village of Draperstown in Northern Ireland. She attended the Belfast College of Art, where she obtained an honors degree in fine art and studied English in postgraduate studies at the University of Ulster. In 1986, she left Northern Ireland to work abroad. She has lived, worked, and painted pictures in Spain, Turkey, Italy, Ecuador, and Mexico.

Purchase Links

Christina McKenna’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, March 16th: Write, Meg!
Tuesday, March 17th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, March 19th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Friday, March 20th: Bell, Book, and Candle
Tuesday, March 24th: BookNAround
Wednesday, March 25th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, March 26th: The Avid Reader
Monday, March 30th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Wednesday, April 1st: WV Stitcher
Thursday, April 2nd: Joyfully Retired
Monday, April 6th: Unshelfish
Tuesday, April 7th: girlichef
Wednesday, April 8th: The Book Bag
Thursday, April 9th: My Bookshelf
Friday, April 10th: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, April 13th: Patricia’s Wisdom

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love books set in Ireland, particularly during this time period - it was such a period of turmoil in such a beautiful land.

I'm glad you enjoyed this one! Thanks for being a part of the tour.