The Merchant's Daughter - eBook
This isn't usually the type of book I read, but I pleasantly enjoyed this one. It can't be called a modern version of Beauty and the Beast since it did happen in, like, the 1300s, but it is a...more modern? retelling? adapted? version of Beauty and the Beast. And yes, that is my weakness. I did try to read The Fairest Beauty, a Snow White story, but couldn't get into it. But then, I've never really cared about Snow White. But give me anything Beauty and the Beast and I'm there. (Also, side note, why aren't there as many Rapunzel stories?)
Annabel was lived a luxurious lifestyle, until her father died. Her mother and brothers, however, still feel entitled. They are not well-liked in the village, due to the fact that they haven't had to work or pay their dues to the lord like the rest of the villagers. But when the old lord is replaced by a new one, he collects on their debt. One of them must work in indentured servitude for three years. And since her brothers are worthless, Annabel is left to do so.
This story was cute, a fun read. This is Christian fiction, but wasn't preachy. Annabel's servant heart and desire to read the Bible are just a natural part of who she is. I loved seeing the relationship blossom between Annabel, and Ranulf. The lord is scarred on the outside, but also on the inside from previous heartache. But once he allowed himself to drop his gruff exterior, he was really a nice guy.
The dramatic part of this--"Annabel is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger"--was drawn out and over-the-top. I felt like there were other, better paths it could have taken. It wasn't bad, or a deal-breaker, just a lot of stupid decisions that I couldn't figure out why they were making.
This was a great book, a breath of fresh air in the world of Christian fiction. If you're a Beauty and the Beast fanatic like I am, then I would recommend it. Or if you're looking for something different in the Christian genre, then I would definitely recommend this.
February 10, 2014
The Merchant's Daughter is probably one of the sweetest, purest, and most wonderful books I have read in my life. Even though it is a little bit predictable, the author throws in new surprises and twists. Even though you know what is going to happen, it is the journey there that makes it all the most exciting. A wonderful tale of unconditional love, trust in God, and the healing of wounds. I finished it in one day!
January 3, 2013
A pretty good read
This story reads like a Disney movie gone Christian. If you like the fairytale plot you'll appreciate this book. Fairy tales are not my favorite, but I can stay with a story that's well written and consistent. This plot in this book is very consistent and flows at a decent pace to the conclusion. However, I would have liked to see more character development and description. I found myself confused at times about the scenery and had trouble imagining the environment. I also found the characters a bit shallow, either mewing at 2 decibels or shouting at 10. I kept waiting for explanations about who the characters were and how they came to be, but the personalities and behaviors were never fully explored or explained. I also found them at times to be paradoxical. With that said, I did enjoy the growth that each character seemed to make and found that I could not predict form scene what was happening. I thought it was a decent read.
July 23, 2012
the merchant's daughter
I really enjoyed this "Beauty and the Beast" christian medieval retelling. It was romantic and substantial.
The character of Annabel, although being your classic beautiful heroine, prone to situations that require her to be rescued, still had strength of character, and more importantly a deep faith in God which sustained her. She didn't cave or give in to her family's pressure, even when they rationalized it, and wanted to persuade her that it was the right thing to do, which I admired.
The hero of the story, on the other hand, the so-called "Beast", was my favourite character in the book, because he was fierce and protective and tortured withouth being the stereotype of a dark, moody male interest that the heroine has to change. He also believed in God, but in a way that left room for improvement, which indeed took place during the story, and in fact, was part of his transformation from "beast" to man.
I also loved that he was a man of actions and few words -I find that really attractive in a man- and that he was able to change from what he once was, from what he had become that is, something that is very difficult for people to do in general.
Last but not least, I adored the small but important detail of the Bible in the book and the part it played in the plot. The fact that a Bible is hard to find, and Annabel's thirst to read it and the way the Bible became the center of their romance and the way that brought them close to each other and to God.... that for me was the best part of the book, and the reason it deserves four stars. It did lag in the middle, and I did think that there were a million more intelligent devices the author could have used to move the plot along than the ones she did use, still I will rate it highly and intend to read it again, because of the specific part the Bible, the hand-written, hard-to-find, godly book played in the story.
I received this book from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.
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July 23, 2012