The Housemaid's Daughter

  • by Barbara Mutch
  • Narrated by Lisa Dillon
  • 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Cathleen Harrington leaves her home in Ireland in 1919 to travel to South Africa and marry the fiancé she has not seen for five years. Isolated and estranged in a harsh landscape, she finds solace in her diary and the friendship of her housemaid's daughter, Ada. Cathleen recognises in her someone she can love and respond to in a way that she cannot with her own husband and daughter. Under Cathleen's tutelage, Ada grows into an accomplished pianist, and a reader who cannot resist turning the pages of the diary, discovering the secrets Cathleen sought to hide.
When Ada is compromised and finds she is expecting a mixed-race child, she flees her home, determined to spare Cathleen the knowledge of her betrayal, and the disgrace that would descend upon the family. Scorned within her own community, Ada is forced to carve a life for herself, her child, and her music. But Cathleen still believes in Ada, and risks the constraints of apartheid to search for her and persuade her to return with her daughter. Beyond the cruelty, there is love, hope - and redemption.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good poignant South African story

A poingnat story of a domestic worker who fathers a child by the owner of the house where she lives and works. Not an uncommon occurance during apartheid in South Africa.
I really enjoyed the book, but the fact hat it was narrated by a person with a strong English accent who pronounces sung by saying sung..G.. empahis on the silent G, was irritating.
And the mispronounciations of the South African words as well as Afrikaans and Xhosa words and names was irritating too. Surely the narrator does some research before embarking on narrating a book that has some relation to another language? Simple pronounciation like the Fish River in Afrikaans Groot Vis.. The Gr in groot pronounced the same as the CH in Loch.. and the work Vis, proonunced the same as hiss, but with the V sounding as an F. Silly I know, but being South African it reduced the authenticity of the story and I can only blame the author for allowing it to be distorted by a bad English accent.

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- Lorna

A soft endearing tale

What made the experience of listening to The Housemaid's Daughter the most enjoyable?

Trying to envision the characters was most enjoyable.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ada and Dawn were a tie for favorite character.

Which character – as performed by Lisa Dillon – was your favorite?

I would say that Mrs. Kath was the best performed.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending was the most moving for me.

Any additional comments?

I felt that the narrator's perfect British accent put me off and kept making it hard for me to visualize Ada as a black South African woman. I think a true South African accent would have been more apt.

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Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-20-2012
  • Publisher: Headline Digital