Ruby Clare is thirty-three, unmarried and still lives at home on the family farm with her bitter, abusive mother. Since Ruby’s beloved father died suddenly, Ruby’s day consists of knitting tea cozies, and waiting hand and foot on Martha Clare. Ruby’s spoiled twin sisters, May and June, don’t make life any easier for Ruby. Although they work in the city, they come home on weekends to visit Martha and to torment shy, overweight Ruby.
Meanwhile, psychiatrist Henry Shevlin’s life is in turmoil. His wife, Constance, went for a walk and never returned. After a year of searching for her, he’s decided to attempt to move on by relocating from the city of Belfast to the more rural location of Killoran. Henry settles into his new surroundings nicely while treating some pretty quirky characters, but he never stops hoping Constance will return.
There’s a lot going on in The Godforsaken Daughter – several stories are intertwined and told. While at first it seems to start out as yet another spin on the classic Cinderella story, readers will be quite happy to see that it is so much more than that. Christina McKenna has woven a beautiful tapestry of characters, set against the glorious backdrop of Northern Ireland. Her characters are so charming, compelling and well developed, I was immediately invested in their well-being. I wanted to hug Ruby and tell her everything would be okay.
There are some definite religious undertones at play in The Godforsaken Daughter, but this is Northern Ireland in the 80s after all, so it’s to be expected. The Troubles between Protestants and Catholics are injected at various points in the story. The IRA and British authorities play an important role as well. Ruby’s experimentation with the occult is short-lived and met with negative consequences.
The ending is magnificent and I felt very satisfied with the way the author put all the pieces together. The story was never contrived or overdone.
While reading The Godforsaken Daughter, which I did in one day since it was so wonderful, I found myself searching for more of Christina McKenna’s books. I love her writing and have every intention of reading all of her books. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading engaging stories of life, love and perseverance.
eBook Review Gal received a complimentary ARC of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.