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[Review] The Botanist's Daughter by Kayte Nunn

by The Borrowers Book Group Kesgrave Library

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This is an enjoyable book with good ideas and a promising title. The book centres on the character of Lizzie living in Cornwall in 1886 and is the subject of the title.

Each chapter alternates between the past and present of 2017, resulting in slow development of the plot. Only when more is consecutively written about the dramas in Chile later in the book does the pace of the plot quicken.

There are three strong characters, Lizzie a feisty exception to the expectations of women of her time, the old lady Florence, and Daisy, the maidservant. The latter in particular is likeable and worthy of respect in taking on the responsibilities demanded by her mistress.

Some parts were well described, most particularly when set in the past, including the interesting voyage, the flowers, the landscape of Chile and the desperate ride by Daisy through the storm.

In the present times the descriptions of Kew Gardens came alive. The book has an unexpected plot twist and a neat cliff-hanger at the end. An enjoyable read.