I have the awesome privilege of knowing Melanie Dickerson personally. When we first met, I made a concerted effort to read The Healer’s Apprentice, her debut novel. It blew my mind. Imagine that – “I” know a published writer – a good writer – no, an excellent writer. Yippee!!! I could hardly wait for The Merchant’s Daughter.
Sometimes the anticipation outweighs the actually experience, but that was not the case with this book. Her writing met and surpassed that of her debut novel.
The sense of duty Annabel feels toward her family comes through in her actions, not just her words. Her love of people and God is also revealed one deed at a time.
An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf’s bailiff—a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past. Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff’s vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf’s future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.
Sometimes the simplest reviews are the best. Read this book. You can’t help but be blessed by Melanie’s retelling of the classic tale, Beauty and the Beast.
My daughter, age 13, also read The Merchant’s Daughter and she says, “I liked the book very much. It helps you remember that God turns things out for the better when you trust in Him.”