For my first post of the year I am over the moon to be taking part in the blog tour for The Daughter’s Promise by the amazing Sarah Clutton. This deeply evocative read will take hold of your heartstrings and lead you on a slow burn journey of loss, grief, trauma, recovery, and incredible resilience and discovery. Grab the tissues, your favourite cozy blanket, and a bottle of wine because this one needs to be read in a single sitting.
Title: The Daughter’s Promise
Author: Sarah Clutton
Publication Date: January 8, 2020
Genre: Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Mystery
Themes: Family, Loss, Grief, Relationships
My Rating: 4.5/ 5
Family is everything to Willa. Adopted at birth, her loving husband and son are her safe haven, and the ones she has clung to while numbed by the pain of a recent loss. When a letter arrives, it opens a path for Willa to re-engage with life: she has inherited a house halfway across the world, in a town she’s never heard of, from a woman she doesn’t know. Her only guess is that Lillian Brooks could have been her birth mother.
Travelling to the inviting shores of Sisters Cove, Willa in entranced by the dilapidated old house she now owns, perched high on a windy cliff within the Merrivale Estate. But as she begins to look amongst the dusty photos and sealed boxes of papers left to her, it becomes clear that the truth about who Lillian really was is not at all what Willa expected.
At Merrivale, social butterfly Annabelle is intrigued by Willa’s arrival. Unable to have children herself, she feels drawn to this fragile, younger woman and is inspired to help her mend the cracks in her heart. But as a friendship grows between the two, the dark truth that connects them is exposed, and both are forced to make choices about the risks they’ll take for family, love and forgiveness.
An emotional, powerful novel full of dark secrets and family drama. Perfect for fans of The Silent Wife, Amanda Prowse and Sally Hepworth.
Apple Books: https://apple.co/35JyLjH
This is not the kind of book that is filled with seat gripping action scenes and swoon worthy romances, if you want to be thrilled into adrenaline overload look elsewhere. What The Daughter’s Promise offers is realistic and complicated relationships, fully developed characters, and intricately intertwined storylines that all come together into one epic and heart-wrenching conclusion. It’s full of mystery, suspense, and just enough drama to leave you angry when the story is over. That, and desperately wanting more.
And did I ever want more!
Although, that might have had something to do with the fact that I love it when a book starts in the aftermath of a major loss. It’s the perfect setting for some deep character discovery and allows ample space for a little suspense and thrill to seep into even the most emotional plots. Now add in two absent actors that do a fabulous job of driving the plot along and you have the perfect recipe for an exceptional read.
I’m not going to lie, in the beginning I had a hard time connecting with Willa’s character. But I’m going to chalk that up to the fact that Willa begins her journey completely incapable of connecting with herself. If you don’t immediately feel for her, give her time (and I promise it won’t take long)! As her story progressed I found myself magnetically drawn to her journey of healing as she worked toward managing the grief that had held her hostage since the loss of her daughter while simultaneously exploring her mysterious connection to the Old Church and seeking out her birth mother. Ever page I turned drew me in a little closer, and before I knew it I was hooked.
However, I found sisters Sylvia and Annabelle compelling from the start. At first blush they present as the perfect dichotomy – one sister a healthy, minimalistic free spirit living a nomadic life and the other firmly rooted in a fancy house and set on perfecting her gardens. But there is so much more to both of them than the stereotypes that they present as. Both women are complicated, flawed, and stubborn toward each other in the way that only sisters can be. You feel their grudges and shared histories just as strongly as the love and protective instincts. Their dynamic was my favourite to read, especially Annabelle’s tool of a husband comes into play. If you want your drama, this is where you find it. Wowza!
Told in varying perspectives and frequently flashing back to major moments in the past, this dynamic tale will keep you on your toes. Clutton takes on some heavy topics but balances them beautifully with moments of horticultural splendour and perfectly timed humour. The writing is exquisite – it’s full of empathy, free from judgement, and expertly paced. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will probably fall in love with Tasmania.
The Daughter’s Promise is an absolutely astounding read, I can’t recommend it highly enough!
About the Author
Sarah Clutton is an Australian author and former lawyer whose debut novel, Good Little Liars, mixes suspense and domestic drama with nuanced characters. Having majored in psychology in her original degree, Sarah is fascinated by people. How does the past shape us? Can we can learn empathy? What determines the outcomes when moral and legal boundaries collide?
Sarah’s work earned her the Dymocks/Fiona McIntosh Commercial Fiction Scholarship in 2018, a coveted national award run by one of Australia’s most successful commercial fiction authors and sponsored by Australia’s largest book chain. An alumna of the Australian Writers’ Centre novel writing course, and with a mostly-finished Master of Arts (Writing) that she has no interest in finishing because she prefers making stuff up, Sarah lives with her family in the very pretty tourist town of Bowral, near Sydney. She has lived all over Australia, and if she didn’t live in Bowral, she would live in Hobart, the most beautiful city she knows.
Author Social Media Links
Many thanks to Sarah Hardy at Books on the Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to participate in this tour. All opinions are my own.