12 March 2010
Book Review: Daughters of Fortune by Tara Hyland
Finally, illegimate daughter Caitlin is still coming to terms with the death of her beloved mother when she's sent to live with her father William and his family. Caitlin soon feels she doesn't belong in the opulent world of the Melville's and breaks free as soon as she can. She's determined to make her own way in the world without using her family name, but is she going to get the success and recognition she's always wanted? And what about the family too?
The gorgeous proof of Tara Hyland's debut novel Daughters of Fortune landed on my doorstep a few weeks ago, and I was really curious to see what it was going to be like. It sounded very much in the vein of Tilly and Louise Bagshawe, Lulu Taylor and Olivia Darling, all authors that I love so I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy this book. I adore the gorgeous blue cover, and think it will really make it stand out in bookshops simply because it looks so elegant and the blue is just divine. Tara also revealed the American cover on her website, and we featured it in a Cover Wars post a while back, but I definitely prefer the UK cover! Anyway, back to the review.
It's a huge chunk of a book at 400 pages, but I found these whizzed past quite fast because you can absorbed into the book very quickly. It begins with a look into the past at Caitlin's mother Katie and how she was born. I was a bit surprised by this because I expected the action to begin with the 3 sisters quite quickly so it was nice for the author to take a different route. The book moves through a few time periods throughout the book so we can see the development of these characters throughout their lives from young teenagers to adult women working with the Melville company. Therefore, I was able to develop feelings for them and actually care about what happened to them.
Hyland creates the wonderful world of Melville really well, but doesn't dwell too much on the shop side of things, rather choosing to focus on behind-the-scenes of the company and the personal life of the 3 girls.Caitlin seems to be the main character of the 3 as it is her feelings we encounter first of all, and she is the one that the sympathy of the reader is aimed at. As the book progresses, it moves onto a deeper look at the lives of Elizabeth and Amber, but I still found myself what Caitlin was up to! I liked how different the 3 sisters were, it made for 3 very different stories, and the way they weaved together towards the end was perfect.
Hyland's writing is very easy to read, and progresses the story very well. She writes in the third person which is the most logical writing style due to the amount of main characters used. This allows Hyland to jump backwards and forwards between characters easily, and gives an overall cohesion to the book. This book is definitely a bonkbuster - there's sex, drugs and a whole lot more besides, but I found it was done in a very tasteful way and wasn't out of place in the book at all. The sex scenes were well written, and I didn't cringe at them as I sometimes do so well done to Tara for writing these scenes well. The scenes with Amber were at times a tad awkward to read because of what is hinted at, but this is acceptable because of the plot around it, it doesn't feel too gratuitous or out of place.
If you are fans of the Bagshawe sisters, Jo Rees or any of the other "bonkbuster" authors out there, then you'll love Tara Hyland's debut. It's story sucks you in and keeps you hooked until the last page, and even then you're not sure everything is going work out okay for the Melville family. There are characters to love and hate, storylines that you will love and it travels the globe too so there's plenty in here to keep you going. It's gorgeous cover will jump out at you and rightly so, it's a superb read that I loved. Yes, it is long but don't let that put you off, it needs each of those pages to make the story. I really enjoyed reading this book, and I think Tara Hyland will have a great career ahead of her if this book is anything to go by!