HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Godforsaken Daughter

by Christina Mckenna

Series: Tailorstown (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
375505,633 (3.45)4
When Ruby Clare's father was alive, they toiled together happily on their dairy farm in Northern Ireland. Since his death, Ruby--thirty-three, plump but comely--has been forced indoors and made a domestic drudge for Martha, her endlessly critical mother, and her prettier younger sisters, May and June. But everything changes when Ruby finds her late grandmother's old case in the attic. Among its strange contents: a curious, handmade volume called The Book of Light . As Ruby delves into its mysterious pages, she's enticed into a most beguiling world, whose allure and magnetic power she finds irresistible. Martha, convinced that her newly empowered daughter is going crazy, enlists the help of the kindly parish priest, and then psychiatrist Henry Shevlin. Henry appears imperturbable, yet is inwardly reeling from his wife's unexplained disappearance the previous year. As Ruby undergoes therapy, she meets local bachelor farmer Jamie McCloone. Through their shared loneliness and isolation the two find the courage to connect. But will Ruby's mother allow her daughter the happiness she so richly deserves?… (more)

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 4 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
Some interesting aspects to this story but often very hard to follow or to find credible, even for fiction. ( )
  CarolPreston | Apr 25, 2016 |
I loved the Misremembered Man and so enjoyed that the main character, Jamie, also has a starring role in this one. So many horrible things happen to the characters, but yet the book is still hopeful and even funny in places. The conversation has such a great Irish lilt to it that I want to start talking that way myself by the end of the book. ( )
  Electablue | Apr 20, 2016 |
Ruby Clare is thirty-three, unmarried and still lives at home on the family farm with her bitter, abusive mother. Since Ruby’s beloved father died suddenly, Ruby’s day consists of knitting tea cozies, and waiting hand and foot on Martha Clare. Ruby’s spoiled twin sisters, May and June, don’t make life any easier for Ruby. Although they work in the city, they come home on weekends to visit Martha and to torment shy, overweight Ruby.

Meanwhile, psychiatrist Henry Shevlin’s life is in turmoil. His wife, Constance, went for a walk and never returned. After a year of searching for her, he’s decided to attempt to move on by relocating from the city of Belfast to the more rural location of Killoran. Henry settles into his new surroundings nicely while treating some pretty quirky characters, but he never stops hoping Constance will return.

There’s a lot going on in The Godforsaken Daughter – several stories are intertwined and told. While at first it seems to start out as yet another spin on the classic Cinderella story, readers will be quite happy to see that it is so much more than that. Christina McKenna has woven a beautiful tapestry of characters, set against the glorious backdrop of Northern Ireland. Her characters are so charming, compelling and well developed, I was immediately invested in their well-being. I wanted to hug Ruby and tell her everything would be okay.

There are some definite religious undertones at play in The Godforsaken Daughter, but this is Northern Ireland in the 80s after all, so it’s to be expected. The Troubles between Protestants and Catholics are injected at various points in the story. The IRA and British authorities play an important role as well. Ruby’s experimentation with the occult is short-lived and met with negative consequences.

The ending is magnificent and I felt very satisfied with the way the author put all the pieces together. The story was never contrived or overdone.

While reading The Godforsaken Daughter, which I did in one day since it was so wonderful, I found myself searching for more of Christina McKenna’s books. I love her writing and have every intention of reading all of her books. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading engaging stories of life, love and perseverance. ( )
  ebookreviewgal | Mar 24, 2015 |
There's something so very appealing about rural Ireland and the people who populate it, at least to this American. Combine that with a Cinderella story of sorts, and I am guaranteed to be hooked. Christina McKenna's newest novel, the third in her Tailorstown series, The Godforsaken Daughter, is a pleasing example of just this kind of story.

Ruby Clare is in her thirties and unmarried. She lives at home where she was the apple of her father Vinny's eye, helping him with the farming, until his sudden and unexpected death in the field outside the kitchen window. Now with her beloved father gone, her mother Martha has rented out the land and insists on Ruby staying in the house with her, knitting tea cozies, cooking and cleaning, and generally being her mother's whipping post. Ruby's existence has gotten smaller and far unhappier than it ever was when her father was alive. Her nasty, self-centered younger sisters, May and June, come home from Belfast some weekends and treat Ruby as if she is their own personal drudge. Whenever she exhibits any sign of a backbone, her mother and sisters threaten her with St. Ita's, the local mental institution. So it seems as if Ruby is destined to live out her life lonely, unhappy, and cowed by these three inexplicably cruel and unloving women. But when she discovers the case in the attic that was left behind by her paternal grandmother, with its contents that smack of the occult, her life changes forever, not least because of the confident voice she starts to hear in her own head.

Dr. Henry Shevlin is a psychologist who has relocated to small Tailorstown to be a temporary doctor. It is he who has say over who continues treatment with him and who needs to be committed to St. Ita's. In his capacity as doctor, he sees several patients who use different coping mechanisms to escape the sadness and tragedy in their lives. His own method of coping with the sadness and desperation he felt when his wife disappeared over a year prior was to leave his home, to stop looking for her, especially once his discoveries started to turn up very troubling and potentially dangerous political connections. But leaving Belfast has never meant that he's stopped wishing for her safe return.

All of the characters here are cradling secrets of some kind, unable to share their sorrow or shame to lighten the load. But as they each find a voice, they discover love and forgiveness, if not from others, at least towards themselves. Although the plot threads following Ruby and Henry are the most major in the novel, Ruby's stands out more. As the novel progresses, her grandmother's belongings allow her to find the confidence to stand up for herself, to seek her own happiness, and to find the courage to break free of the mousy, doormat role in which her mother and sisters have long defined her. The two major plot lines were very different and really only glanced off of each other very briefly although the history of Henry's search for his wife does ground the story in the 1980s and the midst of the troubles in Northern Ireland much more so than Ruby's story does. The secondary characters are quirky and delightful and as the story progresses you can't help but root for Ruby to break free of her family and find happiness and for Henry to solve the puzzle of his wife's disappearance. Although this is the third in the series, it is easily read without having read the others first but if they are anything like this heartwarming, pastoral novel, they will be worth a look too. ( )
  whitreidtan | Mar 24, 2015 |
Christina McKenna’s The Godforsaken Daughter is an enthralling, well-drawn and evocative story of love, grief, redemption and faith. I couldn’t read a passage or two without picturing the rolling Irish countryside, and the idea of life on a small pastoral farm was intoxicating.

Of course, life for Ruby Clare is far from picture-perfect. I immediately bonded with our heroine as she traverses the strange, awful landscape of life without her father. Her mother, Martha, is a distressingly awful woman who leans mercilessly on her oldest daughter but offers little in return. When Martha threatens to parcel off her late husband’s farm, Ruby shows her first signs of a backbone — and I desperately hoped to see more.

There is so much happening in The Godforsaken Daughter, but it never felt cluttered. First, the time period: set in the 1980s during the Troubles, there is a sense of unrest and simmering violence throughout the narrative. Without giving too much away, several characters are affected by the Troubles. Though I’m not intimately familiar with Irish history, I remember stories of the violence and bombings in Belfast when I visited in 2011. My lack of knowledge didn’t hamper my understanding — and enjoyment — of the story.

McKenna draws each of her characters so vividly, you feel as though you’re sitting in a diner nibbling on pastries with Biddy or cruising through town in the back of Rose and Paddy’s car. Ruby is a Cinderella-like character who longs to be loved and accepted, and she eventually comes into her own. Though she’s in her early thirties, the novel also functions as Ruby’s coming-of-age story.

Northern Ireland itself comes alive in McKenna’s tale, taking on a shape and personality as distinctive as any other character. I felt like I was on the banks of the Irish Sea, thinking about a different way of life in a town populated by such colorful people. I loved how easily I could picture each of Tailorstown’s residents — even the awful sisters, who were terrible brats I hoped would get theirs.

The Godforsaken Daughter is an engrossing, page-turning read about family, love, faith and moving forward. I adored its country setting, relatable cast and unique plot. By the last page, the loose ends had come together in a way that was deeply satisfying without being predictable. I really enjoyed it, and look forward to reading McKenna’s other works! ( )
  writemeg | Mar 16, 2015 |
Showing 5 of 5
no reviews | add a review

Belongs to Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

When Ruby Clare's father was alive, they toiled together happily on their dairy farm in Northern Ireland. Since his death, Ruby--thirty-three, plump but comely--has been forced indoors and made a domestic drudge for Martha, her endlessly critical mother, and her prettier younger sisters, May and June. But everything changes when Ruby finds her late grandmother's old case in the attic. Among its strange contents: a curious, handmade volume called The Book of Light . As Ruby delves into its mysterious pages, she's enticed into a most beguiling world, whose allure and magnetic power she finds irresistible. Martha, convinced that her newly empowered daughter is going crazy, enlists the help of the kindly parish priest, and then psychiatrist Henry Shevlin. Henry appears imperturbable, yet is inwardly reeling from his wife's unexplained disappearance the previous year. As Ruby undergoes therapy, she meets local bachelor farmer Jamie McCloone. Through their shared loneliness and isolation the two find the courage to connect. But will Ruby's mother allow her daughter the happiness she so richly deserves?

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.45)
0.5
1
1.5
2 1
2.5
3 4
3.5 3
4 1
4.5 1
5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 151,522,030 books! | Top bar: Always visible