The Merchant's Daughter

June 25, 2013

Title: The Merchant's Daughter
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Zondervan
Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-0-310-72761-3

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. 

 This is the second book by Melanie Dickerson that I have read, and I have to say, her stories are great. In the Merchant's Daughter, Melanie Dickerson sticks to the new twist to an old favorite with fairy tales. She is able to make one of my favorite fairy tales and add a new light to it and make it real, which I would have thought would have been hard considering the beastly nature of a character, but it was achieved in a smooth effort.

Melanie Dickerson has done a wonderful job creating characters that are completely loathsome. My goodness. Several times, I wanted to reach into the pages and hit Annabel's brothers upside their heads. She has also been able to create a balance to those characters with the gentle spirit of Annabel. Even though  Annabel starts off very quiet, she grows as the story progresses and becomes stronger from her struggles. 

Just as Annabel grew into her strength, Lord Ranulf grows in his own ways as he tries to overcome a past of physical and emotional hurt. He is new to the village and doesn't mind that a reputation has proceeded him. He also believes in truth and justice. So when Annabel's mother comes before the town court for not paying the required fines needed of them and the family not doing any of the work required of them, he issues a fair sentence, to either pay the lump sum, or have one of the family members come work as a servant for three years to pay off the debt accrued by the family. He is surprised to find Annabel on his doorstep, willing to give herself over to his house hold for three years instead of one of her brothers. 

The time period of the 1300's was a great time for this story to be set in. It's a time period that isn't used much, but it works beautifully with this story. 

Too Read!
5 out of 5 

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