When Ruby Clare's father was alive, they toiled together happily on their dairy farm in Northern Ireland. Since his death Ruby - thirty-three, plump but comely - has been forced indoors and made a domestic drudge for Martha, her endlessly critical mother, and her prettier younger sisters, May and June.
But everything changes when Ruby finds her late grandmother's old case in the attic. Among its strange contents: a curious, handmade volume called The Book of Light.
As Ruby delves into its mysterious pages, she's enticed into a most beguiling world whose allure and magnetic power she finds irresistible.
Martha, convinced that her newly empowered daughter is going crazy, enlists the help of the kindly parish priest and then psychiatrist Henry Shevlin. Henry appears imperturbable yet is inwardly reeling from his wife's unexplained disappearance the previous year.
As Ruby undergoes therapy, she meets local bachelor farmer Jamie McCloone. Through their shared loneliness and isolation the two find the courage to connect. But will Ruby's mother allow her daughter the happiness she so richly deserves?
The Godforsaken Daughter is an unforgettable peek into small-town life in Ireland's recent past. It's a glorious successor to McKenna's first two Tailorstown novels, The Misremembered Man and The Disenchanted Widow.
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- Gayvonne R. Flory
THE IRISH VERSION OF THE CINDERELLA STORY
It's in the top 80%. It was enjoyable and entertaining with a little magic, psychiatry and suspense thrown in.
Ruby dancing naked near the lake was certainly memorable by her family.
Ruby finally standing up to her sister and letting her know that she too was the keeper of some nasty secrets.
Ruby. First of all, she'd eat good with her healthy appetite - wouldn't pick at the dinner. Then I'd tell her to buck up and stand up for herself. She's only a doormat because she allows herself to be one.