Sunday, 8 July 2018

Daughter Of The Sea by Maggie Freeman


Daughter Of The Sea by Maggie Freeman
Published in the UK by Endeavour Press in July 2015.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository : unavailable
Wordery : unavailable
Waterstones : unavailable
Amazon : from $12.15 / £7.99 (PB)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

It's 1579. Maria, abandoned on a desert island, gives birth to Mary - Francis Drake's daughter. Mother and daughter are captured by pirates and eventually sold as slaves on the spice island of Ternate. To help her daughter escape, Maria sells her to a Chinese sea-captain. While the sea breaks relentlessly on the shore Mary forges a new life for herself - a life where adventure, love and family loyalties all play a part.

I've had my copy of Daughter Of The Sea for nearly two and a half years now which makes it one of my two oldest ARCs, both by a good two years over everything else. Oops! I finally got around to reading the novel now because it will be my Oldest ARC entry for the 2018 State Of The ARC Bingo which will start with July's post. I also discovered when putting this review post together that Maggie Freeman was born and grew up in Trinidad so I have been putting off an unusual WorldReads book - without even knowing it!

Daughter Of The Sea is primarily set in Elizabethan era Indonesia and Malaysia and I enjoyed the scenes set in these countries, especially the bustling Malaysian port of Melaka. Freeman manages to bring the town and its people vividly to life and I felt seeing Mary striving to make a success of her life here was the strongest part of the book. Had Freeman chosen to make this the centre of her story, I think it could have well been a high-4 or even a 5-star read. However the narrative is diluted by switching points of view from Mary to her mother, Maria, and occasionally to those of the men who pass through Mary's life.

I was irritated by hugely significant events being briefly glossed over in favour of lengthy 'romantic interludes' that frequently felt shoehorned into the story and did nothing to increase our understanding of Mary. I really didn't so much bad poetry! I didn't like the sudden change of location from Malaysia to England either. Mary might well have wanted to search for her infamous father, but the abrupt loss of her supprting characters and the bizarre way in which she makes her journey just didn't work for me. I could have done without the impending love-triangle cliffhanger ending too! A shame as the first half of Daughter Of The Sea is pretty good historical fiction, but I thought it ultimately let itself down.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Maggie Freeman / Historical fiction / Books from Trinidad and Tobago

16 comments:

  1. I have read a few books that just did too many things. It sounds like this one would have been stronger if the focus had stayed on Mary.

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  2. This sounds like the book had some scattered focus, and a love triangle cliffhanger is just not ok. I'm glad you enjoyed the historical fiction aspects of it though.
    Tori @ In Tori Lex

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    1. Overall I thought there were more goods than bads, but still room for improvement!

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  3. I've never read anything set in those places, so that sounds cool! You read so many books set all over the world. That's too bad the story didn't focus where you wanted it to though, especially with the way the romances overshadowed everything.

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    1. The settings are gorgeous and actually make the book worth the read!

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  4. I love the setting, but your review concerns me.

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    1. You might like this one, but there are disappointingly aspects

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  5. I am not sure about the impending love triangle! Not a fan

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    1. I'm not even sure if there is a sequel for the triangle to resolve itself in!

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  6. This is so disappointing! When I saw the title and the cover, I was expecting something grand and well-researched but from your review, I don't think I would enjoy this at all. Normally, I read any historical fiction that comes my way but I don't think I could stand all the romance that takes over.

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

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  7. The cover for this is stunning!

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  8. Well done for reading such an old ARC, I don't think i have the same level of commitement to my unread ARCs. It's sad to see this story let itself down in some ways, it sounded cool that it was set somewhere different.

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    1. I loved the unusual settings and they were beautifully portrayed :-)

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