Reviews - What do customers think about The Caretaker's Daughter?
Suspense! Intrigue! Jul 27, 2006
Bronte, now the Lady of Markby Estates, arrives at her new home with her husband, the Lord John Baptiste. There she meets Addison LeClaire, daughter of the estate's caretaker. In her new home not more than a day, Bronte receives some devastating news, someone has shot and critically wounded her husband.
As the sheriff works to uncover the culprit, Bronte tries to settle into her new life while caring for her husband. It's not long before she begins to suspect that all is not what it appears to be at Markby. For example, it seems the caretaker's daughter has a secret, one that could cause a great deal of trouble if discovered. Why? What is Addison so desperate for no one to learn? Bronte also discovers something else about Addison. Though she cannot read, Addison is a talented artist with a chance to study art in Paris. So why is she still at the estate?
Feeling a need to help Addison, Bronte begins to teach her to read. As the lesson's progress and the two spend more time together, Addison realizes she has a strong attraction to Bronte and Bronte to her. Life at the estate is complicated enough, can they even allow themselves these feelings? Dare they even hope for a chance at a life with each other? There are many questions, the least of which is...what about Bronte's new husband?
Suddenly into the fray comes a new development, someone is trying to warn the two women? Warn them about what? Does it have anything to do with the mystery of what happened to the previous Lady of Markby? And why someone is so determined to see the mystery remain unsolved?
Gabrielle Goldsby has proven she is a skilled purveyor of words with her previous book, Wall of Silence. Once again her talent comes to the forefront in The Caretaker's Daughter as she weaves a tale of the lives of two women who, though from different social circles, come together, overcome obstacles and stand strong for what they want.
This One is Somewhere in the Middle... Feb 17, 2006
This book came highly recommended to me by one person... and not so highly recommended by another. Never having read anything by Goldsby, but intrigued by their comments, I decided to take a chance. As you can see by the 3-star rating, I fell somewhere in the middle. The back cover description does not seem to be posted, so I'll start by including that:
START OF BACK COVER TEXT When Bronte agreed to marry John Baptiste, she did not have any of the idealism of most new brides. Theirs was a marriage of convenience. Lord John Baptiste needed an heir, and Bronte's family needed a quick answer to their financial woes. Unfortunately, the marriage was not the answer any of them had hoped for. Instead, it becomes the catalyst for a chain of events that could prove fatal.
Almost immediately, Bronte realizes there are many strange happenings at Markby Estate, the least of which are the actions of its servants. Addison Le Claire is teh enigmatic and volatile caretaker's daughter who, though illeterate, has been singlehandedly running Markby Estate since her father's death months before. Addison discloses to Bronte that she has stayed at Markby because she wants to make extra money for a trip to Paris to study art. In truth, she is looking for clues to her mother's disappearance 22 years before.
Amidst the backdrop of a nineteenth century English country estate, two women struggle to find love - and the truth that could either bind them together or tear them apart. END OF BACK COVER TEXT.
The good stuff... First of all, although it follows the usual recipe, the premise for this story is very good. The author tells the compelling story of two women who fall in love against the odds. Addison is illiterate, poor working class, rough around the edges, and experienced in loving women. Bronte is educated, wealthy, polished, and has had sex once... on her wedding night with a man she'd reluctantly married.
Bronte finds Addison intriguing. While her abusive husband recovers from a gunshot wound and hunting accident, Bronte teaches Addison to read. In return, Addison teaches Bronte to ride horses. In the meantime, they fall deeply in love.
The down side... The servants on the Estate are extremely nosy, but when Bronte spends the night at Addison's home no one seems suspicious. The first night they are together, after Bronte falls deeply asleep Addison basically masturbates herself agains the sleeping woman. Although she then feels guilty, Bronte never finds out. In another instance, Addison begins pawing Bronte without provocation. It seems to me the honorable Addison should have had better control of herself. Afterward, Bronte - although shaken - begins to examine her feelings for the intriguing woman.
Other parts of the story lack development as well. Addison is supposed to be looking for her lost mother, but that doesn't seem to be a central part of the book until the last chapter or so. Other characters show up and disappear abruptly. Many seemingly important bits and pieces never receive closure.
All in all, I enjoyed reading this book. However it is not edited well and leaves a lot of gaps for the reader to fill in herself. I don't agree with the gal who loved it. I don't agree with the gal who hated it. I just fell somewhere in the middle.
Things are not always as they seem Oct 10, 2004
It was a difficult journey that led me to write this review. This book has a lot of wonderful moments. Nevertheless, there are a couple of issues which over shadow any good writing.
The principle character (one of two) has a difficult time controlling her yearning for the one with whom she is falling in love. There are two scenes I find very troubling. And this is why I give the "1" rating. A rating of "0" would have been more appropriate if I felt the author was malevolent in her intentions, but I do not. The story has love in it, though these two scenes in particular are why I reject this story.
In one scene the character gives in to her yearning, call it self-love, while the other lay sleeping beside her. Perhaps that is passable in a larger context. However, another scene shows the character, in anger, and this gets tricky, physically forcing her opinion on the woman she has now admittedly fallen in love with. The closest I can describe this scene is in a movie that I was forced to watch (being from the south) titled, "Gone With the Wind." The scene is the one where "Rhett Butler" takes the character played by Vivien Leigh, kicking and screaming up the stairs. The next morning shows Vivien Leigh happy in bed having apparently been made love to by "Rhett Butler."
There was some discussion with many of my friends whether this scene in "Gone With the Wind" had epitomized the suggestion men make when they say that a woman really means "yes" when she says "no." And perhaps that movie played into that myth.
In this book, the scene can be more clearly defined as not consensual, and is played out between two woman.
With respect to the author of this book, Margaret Mitchell (author of "Gone With the Wind,") and those that may read this review, it is with reluctance that I forward these thoughts.
However, had I known these scenes existed in this book (or any other book for that matter) I would have wished not to have read it.
Most beautiful love story Jul 12, 2004
This book became one of my favorite books almost from the very first page. Beautifully written, this book takes you into a different time, different place. Both women are strong and brave. They started as mistress/worker which soon turned into friendship which lead into romance. You can almost feel what they feel. Wonderful book and very easy read.
Wonderful Page Turner! Apr 5, 2004
Reading through the pages of The Caretaker's Daughter, I was immediately transported into the 19th century. The story of Bronte and Addison is so engaging and one you'll not want to miss. Covering topics of friendships, desire, domestic abuse, love, deceit and jealousy (to name a few), Gabrielle Goldsby truly weaves a wonderful tale. Her characters and storyline were so entertaining that I read this novel in one grand sitting. The mysteries of the Markby Estate will definitely keep you guessing all the way to the end. Highly recommended.