Publishing year: 2016
The book starts in 1916.
The narrator is Daisy March, who is five, and it is at that age that she learns her family is not her family at all. She has always lived with the woman she thought was her mother and who she called MumMarch and with her two elder brothers Alfie and Georgie. She was also visited by a woman she and her brothers called the posh lady. So one day MumMarch tells her that the posh lady, Mrs Gosling is her real mother and she has to live with her. Despite herself, Daisy has to leave the family she loves and move in with a woman she knows nothing about. Mrs Gosling is quite cold and it seems she doesn’t know how to treat Daisy. Mrs Gosling is quite well-off and has a maid Emma and a cook, who Daisy instantly take a liking to.
The next part takes place in 1919 when Daisy is eight. We know more about her mother. Daisy talks about sir, a kind man who visits them, and we understand that this man who Mrs Gosling calls Jacob is Daisy’s father. Apparently, Jacob was friends with Mrs Gosling’s late husband, and I imagine that he is married himself, and that is why they can’t be a family, and why Mrs Gosling is always so afraid of being seen in public.
I find it quite strange that Daisy takes everything at face value and doesn’t question some things like who her father is. We know that she goes to school and has a best friend, but as far as we know, she has never asked Mrs Gosling about her father. I imagine that the other children at school have fathers and curious as children are, Daisy might have been asked about her mother and father. Why then hasn’t Daisy asked her mother about it? Daisy is quite the chatterbox, and when she speaks, she talks freely without malice, so she occasionally mentions things that I am sure Mrs Gosling wouldn’t like.
The next jump in time is in 1922. Daisy is 11 and one day she gets the visit of Alfie, who she still calls her brother. Daisy and MumMarch have corresponded, but she hasn’t seen her since the day she left the house. Apparently, she has asked Mrs Gosling to go and see MumMarch, but the woman simply says ‘we’ll say’, and they have never done. Now Alfie tells her that his mother is sick, so Daisy is determined to have her way this time and see MumMarch at any costs. We can see that Daisy is growing and is not so naive any more. When Alfie visits, Mrs Gosling tries to show that he is not better than a servant, something which Daisy hates, and for the first time she rebels and contradicts her mother, inviting Alfie to have tea in the drawing room and not in the kitchen as her mother wanted.
I have just read the beginning, but I already like the book. I find Daisy sweet, and the complexity of her relationship with her mother, her father, and all the secrets that surround her but she isn’t aware of fascinating. I imagine that now that Daisy is older, she will want answers to her questions, and she might guess who Sir is to her and why he isn’t a regular father.