Saturday, October 17, 2015

THE OTHER DAUGHTER by Lauren Willig Audio Edition

How would it feel to suddenly discover that you are not the person you always believed you were?  If you have proof that you have been deceived, how would you react?  Would you seek revenge, plot against those who have duped you?  We discover how one person reacted to this scenario in the latest from Lauren Willig.

Raised to believe she is cut out for a working class life when we meet Rachel Woodley she is working in France as a governess.  She enjoys her work and is shocked to receive a five day old telegram telling her that her mother is seriously ill.  Rachel, of course, rushes to the small town in England where she was raised only to find that she is too late - her mother has died and the funeral has been held.

One shock such as that should be enough for anyone but Rachel receives a double whammy when going through her mother’s things she finds a clipping and photograph from a tony London magazine - it is a photo of her father, the man she had been told was dead, and his daughter.  He is an important man, an Earl, and the girl pictured with him is his legitimate daughter.

Shocked, hurt and furious Rachel assumes a new identity with the aid of others and moves to London intending to confront her father.  In not altogether plausible plotting she takes the name Vera Morton, is established in a ritzy London apartment complete with a fashionable wardrobe.  After she is coached on who’s who among the young and wealthy she feels ready to present herself to society.  She is determined to reveal to all her father’s falsities.

Of course, it doesn’t quite work out that way as Rachel discovers that her father’s life is not at all what she imagined it to be, and she just may have met someone she can love.

What made all of this almost believable for this listener is the narrator’s rich, authentic British accent.  Nicola Barber’s voice is a pleasure to hear, and with it she beautifully conveys the various emotions that Rachel feels.  Barber has already won two Earphone Awards and a nomination for a 2015 Audie.  She is a really gifted performer who brings 1920s London and environs to life.

So, don’t be perplexed by some of the plot twists - simply enjoy.

- Gail Cooke

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