Wednesday 16 March 2022

Book Review: The Daisy Chain by Al Campbell

The 18th century is one of my favourite periods of history to read about, so when I saw that The Daisy Chain was set in 1771 and was around the history of Kew Gardens, it was an instant want-to-read. Read on for my full review.


Recently orphaned Daisy Salter is heading to London to live with her sister and her brute of a husband. Her role will that of a companion to her sister and governess to her niece. Used to the freedoms she had living with her Father and being able to exercise her talents as a botanical illustrator and amateur scientist, Daisy is not looking forward to this move. However one of her drawings on an invitation attracts the attention of pre-eminent scientist Joseph Banks of Kew Gardens. Suddenly Daisy is artist in residence at Kew and teaching Queen Charlotte herself to paint! However, beneath the surface, Daisy has unwittingly got herself caught up in espionage, the slave trade, and tea smuggling. Can Daisy figure how who to trust before it's too late?

Another historical fiction book that has opened my eyes to a part of history I knew little about and had me googling what was fact from fiction. Forgive my lack of vocabulary here, but I really really enjoyed this story, so much so that I just couldn't wait to get back to my book at the end of the day. Daisy was an easily likable character if a little na├»ve at times, but she knew her own mind. This is yet another book I have read this year about strong women defying the conventions and constraints of their time and I blooming loved it. 

The only thing I will say is that I actually wanted more from this story. It could have easily gone into more detail and honestly, I was craving it. I just enjoyed this story so much and I wish the whole story had actually happened.

The Daisy Chain was a charming, fascinating read that I read far too quickly.

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