The Golden Chain by Margaret James
|The Golden Chain by Margaret James|
|Genre: Historical Fiction|
|Reviewer: Katie Pullen|
|Summary: Daisy Denham is desperate for adventure, and when she meets and falls in love with Ewan Fraser, the chance to join a touring theatre together seems too good to resist, but soon other temptations come Daisy's way. As the sequel to The Silver Locket this is a light-hearted tale of young love and coming of age, filled with old-fashioned romance.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: May 2011|
|Publisher: Choc Lit|
|External links: Author's website|
It's 1931 and teenager Daisy Denham, along with her parents Alex and Rose, and two brothers have left their life in India and moved to Melbury House in Dorset, a place full of history for Alex and Rose. Daisy is not keen on her new life and surroundings and is desperate to escape, particularly when she discovers a long held family secret that casts a shadow across her past. She soon meets handsome Ewan Fraser, a young man forced to spend his holidays in Dorset thanks to his overbearing mother, and the two strike up an instant friendship that soon turns to love, spurred on by their joint interest in working on the stage. Ewan soon gives Daisy a golden chain and Daisy promises never to take it off.
Ewan has great ambitions to become an actor and keen to include Daisy in his plans offers Daisy the chance to escape with him and join a touring theatre company and soon the two set off for their new life. But as Daisy soon discovers the grass isn't always greener and becomes disillusioned with her new life and indeed Ewan, particularly when the charming Jesse Trent joins the company. As life begins to take Daisy and Ewan in different directions, will she be able to keep her promise to him?
The Golden Chain is a reissue of Margaret James' 2006 novel The Long Way Home and is the sequel to The Silver Locket. With its new title and cover, which capture the essence of the book, this is now a well-packaged and very readable romantic read.
I was impressed with the ease in which Margaret James has created another hero and heroine that the reader can become instantly drawn to and I was more than happy to see where the story was going to take them. Like Rose in The Silver Locket Daisy has a gutsy temperament that sees her unafraid to test herself in many ways, leaving her comfortable home for the unknown outside world with confidence and determination. She is also extremely intelligent and kind, if a little naïve to begin with, but she's so young we can hardly blame her. I did wonder how she could fall in love with Ewan so easily, but as he represents everything she is missing in life I couldn't really blame her for throwing herself into his arms.
I wasn't that keen on Ewan at first who seems a bit cheeky and forward, as he snatches a kiss from Daisy, but then I thought good for him for having the guts. He has great delusions of grandeur, quoting Shakespeare here and there and assuming he will become a brilliant actor which is all a bit annoying to start with. However, once we get to know him a little more, I found him more and more likeable, and when we discover a darker side to his personality he seems instantly more human and complex.
Like The Silver Locket James' writing style is quick and punchy, with little time for distractions from the main story, but unlike The Silver Locket she allows her characters to stand still for a while, rather than pushing them onwards too quickly which helps the reader to savour the drama just a little bit more. She has also kept her storylines to a minimum which works well and allows more time to be given to important scenes and events.
All in all this is a great follow up to The Silver Locket and if you enjoyed that you are sure to enjoy The Golden Chain. However, you don't have to have read The Silver Locket to fully enjoy this book. It's a quick and easy read, and is perhaps the perfect tonic for anyone looking for a bit of escapism from modern life.
I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
Further Reading Suggestion: If you like the sound of this book, you may also enjoy The Silver Locket by Margaret James, or for more from Choc Lit try The Scarlet Kimono by Christina Courtenay or Turning the Tide by Christine Stovell.
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