I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.
Despite her privileged upbringing, Daisy Lennox has always longed to make something of her life.
She is drawn to the suffragette movement, but when her father faces ruin they are forced to move to the country and Daisy’s first duty is to her family.
Here she becomes engaged to her childhood friend – a union both families have dreamed of.
But, on the eve of their wedding, war is declared, and Daisy knows her life will never be the same again… (source)
Wow, the romances that I have been reading lately have just been going above and beyond my expectations - which, admittedly, for romances tend to be pretty low, as they can be pretty shallow. But such is not the case for Dilly Court's The Best of Daughters (the tendency towards shallowness, I mean). In all honesty, this book has everything that I look for in a romance. Not only does it have all the wonderful romantic tension that is typical of a love triangle, especially one involving a forbidden love interest, it also has a strong, independent heroine who is incredibly likeable and and well-developed secondary characters with stories in their own right that get almost as much attention as Daisy's does. This is a romance novel with substance - and as a bonus (in my opinion), it's a historical one! Basically, Dilly Court kicked butt with this book.
I will admit that there were a few imperfections. Although the book progressed well for the most part, there were a few slower sections that I think could have been cut out without harming the integrity of the plot. There were also a few anachronisms in characters' speech - not a ton, but there were a few slang words that I'm fairly certain would not have been used during the World War I era. I also would have liked to have seen Daisy become more involved in the suffragette movement and women's rights, which is a cause close to my heart. In the plot summary, it's implied that the suffragette movement will have a huge role in the plot of the book, but in reality, it's only really significant in the very beginning. Far more influential in Daisy's life is her role in the FANY (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry), an organization that I had never heard of which was essentially the British Red Cross of WWI. As disappointed as I was by the lack of suffragettes in the book, I was very interested in learning more about FANY and I am glad that Dilly Court chose to include it in this book.
Although this book is a romance novel, it focuses on much, much more than love. Personally, I find this refreshing. While steamy kisses may cause hearts to flutter, they don't always make for a well-developed plot. Court chose to focus on much more than Daisy's love life. I appreciated this - it gave the story substance. It also serves to prove that graphic sex scenes aren't needed for a good love story. While some romance readers may be disappointed by the lack of smut in this, I appreciated Court's decision to focus on crafting a story with meaning and purpose.
I honestly can't say enough good things about this book. While it lacks graphic sex scenes, it has plenty of scandal and drama; it has fantastic character development that is not limited to the main characters; and it effectively conveys the tragedies of war. If you're looking for a historical romance with substance, look no further - I believe that The Best of Daughters will be just what you've been searching for!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.