Tale of two women separated by hemispheres but connected by plants | ARC Review: The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn

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Looking for a swoon-worthy summer romance? | ARC Review: Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen
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SYNOPSIS

Discovery. Desire. Deception. A wondrously imagined tale of two female botanists, separated by more than a century, in a race to discover a life-saving flower . . .

In Victorian England, headstrong adventuress Elizabeth takes up her late father’s quest for a rare, miraculous plant. She faces a perilous sea voyage, unforeseen dangers and treachery that threatens her entire family.

In present-day Australia, Anna finds a mysterious metal box containing a sketchbook of dazzling watercolours, a photograph inscribed ‘Spring 1886’ and a small bag of seeds. It sets her on a path far from her safe, carefully ordered life, and on a journey that will force her to face her own demons.

In this spellbinding botanical odyssey of discovery, desire and deception, Kayte Nunn has so exquisitely researched nineteenth-century Cornwall and Chile you can almost smell the fragrance of the flowers, the touch of the flora on your fingertips . . .

Should You read The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn?

Anna was once again reminded of how extraordinarily long some plants had been around for, blooming, dying and blooming again across the centuries, seeds scattered on the wind, seedlings divided and shared, sold and replanted in foreign soil.

 The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn is a story of two women, separated by generations and continents, and their connection with each other. The two protagonist’s are Elizabeth and Anna, both of whose perspectives show just how connected they are.

First, we see Anna in Sydney, Australia, as she watches builders work on her grandmother’s house and they find an antique and engraved box in between some bookshelves. On opening the box, Anna finds a sketchbook inside and some old seeds inside a pouch. The sketchbook reveals a multitude of plant sketches, drawn so intricately that it might as well be drawn by a 3D printer. Anna also finds a diary in which there’s a story about a woman named Marguerite who emmigrated to Australia with her child. The child, Anna will found out later, is none other than her great grandmother.

Next, we see Elizabeth’s POV as she mounts her late father’s stallion and races to a cove nearby. She contemplates on her father’s last words, when he told her..no, made her promise to retrieve a mysterious plant from Chile. Alas, it is Victorian England and Elizabeth had the “misfortune” of being a woman. However, Elizabeth prevails and after a small but firm discussion with her brother-in-law, she is ready for her journey to the southern hemisphere along with her maid Daisy.

In the past, Elizabeth successfully reaches Chile and discovers not only the native plant her father talked about but also a family of her own. Amidst all her happiness, Elizabeth didn’t forget her father’s warnings about a cunning man who would do anything to take the plant away from her. However, warnings are apparently no good against a madman.

In the present, Anna struggles with her past but she still wants to discover the connection of the sketchbook’s artist with her family. Will Anna’s search proove fruitful? Will Elizabeth’s last wishes be fulfilled after all these years?

I loved the dual narration, the pace and the plot of the story. The story basically comes full circle with Anna and you’ll know why if you ever read the book. The writing is pretty soothing. It transported me from Sydney(Australia) to Cornwall(England)to Chile(South America). I loved the characters very much, especially Anna, Daisy, and Elizabeth. Daisy was a loyal companion of Elizabeth until the very end. Anna and Elizabeth had botanic similarities and that was that. Elizabeth was the complete opposite to Anna and it contributed to her untimely demise. There are romantic elements present but they don’t draw your attention out from the family mystery that’s surrounding the novel.

Overall, I highly recommend this book if you love reading historical fiction, historical fiction with botanist themes and family mysteries.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT: 

Author: Connect with Author Kayte Nunn here.

  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
  • Publication Date: 18th April , 2019
  • Paperback: 390 Pages
Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen

Will you read The Botanist’s Daughter ? If you have read it, then let me know if you liked it or not. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!