This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Jennifer Joyce
Madeleine Garriga doesn’t know much about her past. She has vague memories of escaping from France during the war with her mother and her younger brother, leaving her father behind. The plan was to reunite the family after the war, but Luis Garriga was killed before that could happen. Devastated, Luis’ wife Elise retreated into herself, becoming nothing more than a shadow of the passionate woman she once was. Madeleine and her brother Robert grew up with their mother in England in the restrictive household of their grandparents, never knowing who their father really was or what role he played in the war. When Elise dies, Madeleine decides it is time to seek the answers to their questions and sets off for France. There, she discovers the truth about her heritage and unearths the buried secrets of her parents' past.
Daughter of Catalonia sounded so interesting when I read the blurb and I hoped that the secrets within the book would live up to the intrigue, and on the whole they did. Some points became obvious before the big reveal, but it didn’t impede my enjoyment of the book. I thought the story played out well, with more facts resurfacing bit by bit to maintain the interest in the book. The settings of the book are told quite vividly, particularly when Madeleine travels to the small French village of Vermeilla, and although this gave a real sense of Madeleine’s surroundings, I did feel that the pace of the story could be bogged down with too many descriptions at times.I really liked the character of Madeleine and thought she was a strong leading character. She’s still quite young and has led a sheltered life with her grandparents, so it showed real strength for her to leave her life behind to find out more about her father and what happened to him. I felt for her when she started to discover more about Luis and long-forgotten memories began to resurface because although this is what she set out to do, it is quite bittersweet as she will never meet the man she is getting to know. I have to admit that I wasn’t so keen on the love interest aspect of the novel as it happens quite quickly and intensely and seemed to have been shoehorned into the story at the last minute.
Overall, I thought Daughter of Catalonia was a good story, full of family history and poignant moments of discovery.