The Merchant's Daughter is probably one of the sweetest, purest, and most wonderful books I have read in my life. Even though it is a little bit predictable, the author throws in new surprises and twists. Even though you know what is going to happen, it is the journey there that makes it all the most exciting. A wonderful tale of unconditional love, trust in God, and the healing of wounds. I finished it in one day!
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Review 2 for The Merchant's Daughter - eBook
A pretty good read
Date:July 23, 2012
This story reads like a Disney movie gone Christian. If you like the fairytale plot you'll appreciate this book. Fairy tales are not my favorite, but I can stay with a story that's well written and consistent. This plot in this book is very consistent and flows at a decent pace to the conclusion. However, I would have liked to see more character development and description. I found myself confused at times about the scenery and had trouble imagining the environment. I also found the characters a bit shallow, either mewing at 2 decibels or shouting at 10. I kept waiting for explanations about who the characters were and how they came to be, but the personalities and behaviors were never fully explored or explained. I also found them at times to be paradoxical. With that said, I did enjoy the growth that each character seemed to make and found that I could not predict form scene what was happening. I thought it was a decent read.
I really enjoyed this "Beauty and the Beast" christian medieval retelling. It was romantic and substantial. The character of Annabel, although being your classic beautiful heroine, prone to situations that require her to be rescued, still had strength of character, and more importantly a deep faith in God which sustained her. She didn't cave or give in to her family's pressure, even when they rationalized it, and wanted to persuade her that it was the right thing to do, which I admired. The hero of the story, on the other hand, the so-called "Beast", was my favourite character in the book, because he was fierce and protective and tortured withouth being the stereotype of a dark, moody male interest that the heroine has to change. He also believed in God, but in a way that left room for improvement, which indeed took place during the story, and in fact, was part of his transformation from "beast" to man. I also loved that he was a man of actions and few words -I find that really attractive in a man- and that he was able to change from what he once was, from what he had become that is, something that is very difficult for people to do in general. Last but not least, I adored the small but important detail of the Bible in the book and the part it played in the plot. The fact that a Bible is hard to find, and Annabel's thirst to read it and the way the Bible became the center of their romance and the way that brought them close to each other and to God.... that for me was the best part of the book, and the reason it deserves four stars. It did lag in the middle, and I did think that there were a million more intelligent devices the author could have used to move the plot along than the ones she did use, still I will rate it highly and intend to read it again, because of the specific part the Bible, the hand-written, hard-to-find, godly book played in the story.
I received this book from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed the vivid descriptions in this book. It transports you back in time and you can visualize what this town would look like. It had a great story line - good triumphs over evil - with some romance in the mix. Very enjoyable.
So I was going through all my book reviews today and was quite frankly, dumb founded when I realized I didn't review this book yet! I absolutely LOVED this book and I have read it a four times now since purchasing. Three of those times I read it was to a blind friend. She, like me, ADORES Melanie's work and can't wait for the next book! It was actually just yesterday that I told her that Melanie's next book will be coming out in August. http://melaniedickerson.com/books.html She is so excited about it that she is having me read A Healer's Apprentice and The Merchant's Daughter again to her. Not that I mind! I too am bursting with excitement for Melanie's next book! Melanie is a phenomenal author and I literally hate having to put her books down! Don't miss out! Melanie's books will hold you for weeks after having read them even!
Fascinated by fairy-tales as a child, it’s no surprise I’ve fallen in love with Christy-nominee Melanie Dickerson’s magical love stories, loosely based on some of the most beloved of fairy-tales of all time. Dickerson’s latest offering, The Merchant’s Daughter, is a delightful medieval spin on The Beauty and The Beast, where Annabel, the lovely daughter of a wealthy merchant is indentured to the frightening and beastly Lord Ranulf le Wyse in payment for her deceased father’s debt. With a fresh and creative eye and an equally skillful pen, Dickerson weaves a masterful tale of true love as seen through the eyes of the heart and soul rather than first sight, rewarding her readers with a happily ever after as enchanting and satisfying as that of her characters. Melanie Dickerson is simply a must read for the Young Adult market and beyond. Can’t wait for the next one!
I truly enjoyed The Merchant's Daughter! I thought the book was a surprisingly quick and easy read that kept me happily flipping pages for hours.
A Christian retelling of Beauty and the Beast? LOVE IT! I love they way this book comes together. The main character, Annabel, has courage and a huge heart, and she has a desire to read the Word of God for herself. Even though she can't relate to people around her (her spoiled and oft times cruel family included) or the men and women in her village who listen to a Hell and damnation Preacher who offers none of the kindness, hope, and love that is shown throughout the Scriptures, she still sees goodness and kindness in others around her. Even when her brother tries to marry her off to a cruel old man, and she becomes an indentured servant in the home of a seemingly hard and monster of a man, Lord le Wyse, Annabel perseveres on and works hard to become a good servant in payment for her family's neglect of their duties.
Lord le Wyse is a wonderfully deep character, haunted by a dark and painful past, and a disfigurement he cannot run away from. He has shunned all beautiful women as hard and cruel because of his past, and is therefore never truly at peace with God or himself.
This is a beautiful story of pain, despair, loss, hope, new beginnings, and a love that passes all understanding.
The Merchants Daughter is written by Melanie Dickerson and published by Zondervan.
Annabel is an indentured servant to Lord Ranulf. Their relationship changes over time as they get to know each other better and spend time in the evenings discussing the Bible. The setting is what makes this an especially enjoyable story. Set in a castle during medieval times the story will remind you of the classic The Beauty and the Beast.
The author draws you into the story with her descriptions and the intriguing conversations held between the main characters. Even the evil character was fun to read about! I loved how the story had different twists you weren’t expecting and how the story concludes. Overall it was an enjoyable read and one I have no problem recommending!
I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.
I enjoyed it. There were parts that I felt the author dwelled on the "beast" concept too much - but it was a sweet story. The story didn't unfold exactly how I expected either, so it was well written and kept me engaged.
It has taken me awhile to finally be able to read this book, but the wait was so worth it because this book was AMAZING! Melanie wrote another beautiful book that is filled with twists and turns that leave you on the edge of your seat the entire time! I will definitely read this again in the future and cannot wait for more books by this author! Highly recommend reading this book! You will not be disappointed!
The death of her father changed Annabel Chapman's life drastically. Unable to pay her family's debts and unwilling to marry the much older Baliff Tom, Annabel is forced into indentured servitude to the gruff Lord Ranulf le Wyse. Her intention is become a nun after serving her term under Ranulf, but as she encounters Ranulf, she finds herself sometimes pleasantly surprised. As Annabel struggles with her feelings, she witnesses an incident that could place Ranulf in danger. Will the truth preserve or destroy their lives? Is Annabel willing to give up her dream in exchange for an uncertain future?
The Merchant's Daughter is the first book I've read by Melanie Dickerson and I'll definitely be looking for more. Maybe it is because the story has a less common sort of historical setting, but I loved the setting and it was part of what really hooked my attention, even before the characters and storyline did. All characters were authentic, which is something important to me when I'm reading a book. The romance, struggles and action created a charming story. I would definitely read The Merchant's Daughter again.
I'm not sure why this was categorized as Young Adult (YA) Fiction. Annabel Chapman is a young woman, but I think this book could appeal to far more than the YA market – historical romance, historical fiction, romantic fiction. I recommend to anyone looking for a clean historical romance.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advanced reading copy of this book free from Zondervan Publishers as part of their blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Happened upon this book and feel that it was a gift from God. This story is used to teach about love and forgiveness with truth from scriptures. It holds the readers attention and teaches values from God. I bought this book for my daughter since she was not currently reading anything and thinking she might have something in common with the story since she is a daughter of a business owner too. The fact that it was a Christian book made it perfect. She came to me after only a few chapters and said she loved it! I asked to read it when she was done and I loved it! I then bought The Healers Apprentice and after only two days my daughter finished the book and now I am waiting to read it too. The era of the 1300's makes this a new adventure in the background of the story. It was beautifully written to bring in scriptures without feeling like it was being pushed on you to accept truth. I would love to meet the author so I could tell her KEEP WRITING!
The Merchant's Daughter is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, so there are certain elements you know without doubt will be there. The beastly-looking man whose outside appearance goes hand in hand with a fierce temper . . . but a protective, fair heart. The lovely heroine with a desire for books rather than a husband, who is willing to accept punishment for her family. The full cast of supporting characters that range from delightful young boy to the menacing would-be suitor.
But it's also so much more. This is a story that plunged me directly into a world long-since gone, into the heart of a girl who just wanted to see the Scriptures. Just wanted to read them, and couldn't find a way . . . until she's forced into a situation she thought could render nothing good. Annabel and Ranulf's story is one of yearnings restrained and fears made manifest, of sacrificial love and tender emotion. Compelling from the very first page, these characters will win your heart.
It's been a long, long time since I've been able to find the time and energy to read a book in less than a day--in the last year, even really excellent books take me weeks to read. But The Merchant's Daughter stayed in my hand all morning last Sunday, and I scarcely put it down until I'd finished it. I knew when I spotted it on the shelf that it would give me exactly what I needed--an interesting, involved, beautifully transporting read--and it exceeded my expectations. I read this book in one gulp and loved every second of it!
Billed as a young adult novel, this is one I intend to give to my teenaged niece for her birthday, for sure--but it's also one that women of all ages will enjoy, especially if they have a love for fairy tales. Melanie Dickerson has done it again with this amazing medieval romance, and I just can't recommend it enough.
So go! Order one, pick one up off the shelf, borrow one--whatever you have to do to get your hands on it--you'll thank me. So I'll just say "you're welcome" now. ;-)
Annabel was once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, but when her father died her family was required to work for the local Lord, just like the rest of their neighbours. Having been forced by her mother to neglect her duties, Annabel fears what fate might befall her family when the new Lord takes up his position. The local bailiff offers to marry Annabel in return for paying off the family’s debt to the Lord, but Annabel cannot stand the thought of being married to such a despicable man, especially when he makes inappropriate advances on her in public. Annabel offers herself to servitude to the Lord so that she can repay her family’s debts without being forced into an arranged marriage. Much to her surprise, she finds a sense of freedom from working for Lord Ranulf, especially when he asks her to read to him each night from his Latin Bible. Having always dreamed off entering a nunnery so that she could study God’s Word, Annabel is thankful for this opportunity, especially coming from such a mysterious man. Rumours circulate about Ranulf, particularly relating to his eye-patch and scars. As Annabel and Ranulf spend more time together, she comes to understand that his past isn’t as disturbing as she’d thought, simply saddening. But Annabel is not entirely free from her troubles, and her relationship with Ranulf is rocked when her flight from an attack leaves him possibly charged with a vicious assault. Now even more unsure of her future, Annabel must trust in the God she has been coming to learn about in Ranulf’s Bible.
I’m always a little cautious whenever I read a book that’s aimed at a young adult audience, but the idea of a historical romance based on the fairytale of Beauty and the Beast appealed to me. I’m glad I took the plunge with The Merchant’s Daughter as I was utterly captivated from the first page and found it very difficult to put this book down. The medieval setting was perfectly described and as accurate as my historian’s eyes could tell. The story itself was compelling, not only because I wanted to keep reading to see how many similarities I could to the original Beauty and the Beast fairytale, but for the simple fact that Annabel’s plight was so real that I wanted to jump into the story beside her and help her escape her marriage to the bailiff.
I have to admit, my knowledge of Beauty and the Beast mainly stems from the Disney film, so I had to do some research to see what the actual original tale was. But I can assure you that even if you’ve never even heard of Beauty and the Beast you’ll still be able to enjoy this story. The reason that fairytales are retold and adapted over and over is because the stories are so popular, in whatever form they take. I imagine that The Merchant’s Daughter is going to be equally successful, with both adults and teenagers alike. I couldn’t quite figure out what made The Merchant’s Daughter essentially a young adult novel, except for the length of the book and the fact that Annabel is a teenager. But since the term “teenager” didn’t exist until the 1950s and girls were generally considered to be old enough to marry and start families as soon as they hit what we would now consider their “early teen years”, Annabel has to deal with lots of adult conflicts. For this reason, I would say that this book would be suitable for older teenagers, those who are around fifteen or older. There is nothing too descriptive or graphic in The Merchant’s Daughter, but I think that Annabel’s story just might not hold the attention of younger teens.
I did find my interest waning slightly towards the end of the book when Annabel was attacked. While you’d think that I’d find the book even more compelling at this point in the story, this wasn’t exactly the case. My main issue with The Merchant’s Daughter was simply that Annabel seemed too perfect to be real. I like my heroines flawed and a romance is always made more interesting if the heroine has something personal to overcome in her own life as well as in her relationship with the hero. Sadly, this wasn’t quite the case with Annabel, and while she had plenty of stumbling blocks placed in her way by other characters, she had nothing personal to overcome that was holding her back from her own happiness. I’m not sure how a teenage girl would react to a character so perfect as Annabel. Personally, I was a bit irked by how perfect and flawless she was and I vouch that younger readers may react negatively as well.
While I did find the character of Annabel to be too perfect for my liking, her story was nonetheless compelling and I found the book difficult to put down in places. Both young adults and more mature readers of historical romance will undoubtedly enjoy The Merchant’s Daughter and I predict that Melanie Dickerson’s forthcoming books will be a big hit in the young adult market.
In Melanie Dickerson's The Merchant's Daughter, an adaptation of The Beauty and The Beast, medieval land owners, societal outcasts, and damsels in distress entwine. Dickerson outdoes herself in this rewarding read.
Annabel, the merchant's only daughter, flees from the unwanted advances of Bailiff Tom, a scoundrel and leech. She longs to join a nunnery, to read the Bible, to keep her distance from men and their advances. Instead she finds herself snared by the new lord's household and a kindness only she sees in him.
Lord Ranulf fights against his past, the memories and nightmares of the guilt he fears he'll carry till the grave. When beautiful Annabel reads her way into his heart, he becomes unnerved and hopeful. Both war for his attention and perpetuate the gruff exterior Ranulf uses to keep the world at a distance.
Can the two find common ground? Resolve the obstacles that separate them? These questions and more pull the reader through this well-written story. It was a joy to read, one that kept me up late, so I could finish it.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <[...]> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Annabel Chapman’s life is about to change. For the last three years since her father’s death the Chapman family has refused to do the work required by the lord of the land and has been unable to pay the censum for their failure to work. The new lord, Lord le Wyse has just arrived in Glynval and a hallmote has been called to determine her family’s fate.
When a fine of 20 shillings is named Roberta Chapman is unable to pay such a sum, so she is given a choice. One of her three children must become a servant in Lord le Wyse’s household for three years or the family must forfeit their home and property.
Annabel’s two older brothers refuse to work as servants and instead wish to force Annabel to marry Glynval’s Bailiff, Tom atte Water so that the family will be freed of their obligations. When Annabel refuses to marry Bailiff Tom she incurs the wrath of the bailiff and her oldest brother Edward. Annabel determines that she will be the one to work as Lord Ranulf le Wyse’s indentured servant as this will keep her mother in her home and protect her from the bailiff.
When Annabel presents herself to Lord le Wyse as his new servant he is displeased that Annabel the youngest is who is to shoulder the family’s debt. Bailiff Tom is angry and tells Lord le Wyse that Annabel was to be his wife because Edward had promised her to him in exchange for paying Annabel’s debt. When questioned by Lord le Wyse, Annabel declares that she has no intention of marrying the bailiff and intends to work off the debt owed. Lord le Wyse tells Bailiff Tom he should consider himself lucky!
Annabel is assigned duties in the kitchen where she becomes Mistress Eustacia’s most trusted servant. As Annabel works in the manor house she learns that Lord le Wyse was scared and disfigured when he saved a servant girl from a wolf attack. Because of his disfigurement his wife scorned him and unfaithful before her death.
But when Lord le Wyse asks if any of his servants can read only Annabel admits to having the skill. When questioned further she admits to being able to read Latin. Because of her skill Annabel is granted her heart’s desire to read the Holy Writ – the Bible!
As Annabel and Lord le Wyse spend time together as she reads to him each night, Annabel comes to realize that her lord is not as ill tempered as she was first lead to believe. As they study read together Annabel questions Lord le Wyse about doctorine and passages in the Bible that she has questions about. Annabel's questions and comments remind Ranulf of just how unsuited Annabel's upbringing was for her current position in his household.
One night a fire breaks out in the barn. The laborers who are sleeping in there manage to escape, but the oat and barley harvest is lost. While rescuing the sheep from barn Lord le Wyse is injured. Mistress Eustacia has Annabel care for Lord le Wyse's burned arm as she has knowledge in caring for burns. The King's Coroner has been sent for to determine the cause of the fire.
The night before the King's Coroner arrives in Glynval Annabel is attacked by Bailiff Tom. As he drags her deeper into the woods, Annabel fights him and gets away but trips. As Bailiff Tom comes for her Stephen comes to her aid. He throws a rock to scare the Bailiff off but it hits him in the head. Stephen fears that he has killed the Bailiff and swears Annabel to secrecy about what happened that night. But as Annabel tries to sneak into the manor house Lord le Wyse calls out to her. Lord le Wyse found the unconscious Bailiff in the woods and questions Annabel as to what she saw and what happened. Lord le Wyse promises Annabel that he will do what he can to protect her as the King's Bailiff will have to be told about Bailiff Tom and his injury.
As Lord le Wyse tries to shield Annabel as much as possible, suspicion is cast on him by the superstitious villagers who believe their new lord is cursed. As the danger Ranulf and Annabel face brings them closer, they both begin to question themselves and what they are feel and want. When Ranulf determines to remove Annabel from harm's way, he plans to send her to his aunt's monastery so Annabel can become a nun.
But when Annabel learns of a threat to Lord le Wyse's life she is determined to save him. But with angry armed villagers convinced that Lord le Wyse's death will free them of the curse can Annabel save the man she has come to love or will she die with him?
The Merchant's Daughter is set in Medieval England and is a beautifully written re-telling of Beauty and the Beast with a Christian thread running throughout it.
I received this book through the Z Street Team program for review purposes. A favorable review was not required.
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Review 17 for The Merchant's Daughter - eBook
A nice, uplifting read
Date:November 25, 2011
I really enjoyed this book because it uplifted my heart, and I liked how authentic the historical setting seemed. I would love to see it in a movie! One really cool thing about it was how the author showed what it would be like to try to be a Christian without any access to Scripture. I won't spoil it, but it was really well done and illuminated the blessing I have in my life. A love story that also inspires me to thing of the things of God -- doesn't get much better than that. The only criticism I would have about it is that I really wanted to know what happened to some of the other characters... A sequel, I think!
Fairy tales have been in the spotlight recently, with tv shows and movies inspired by the classic stories. Melanie Dickerson's latest novel, The Merchant's Daughter, takes its inspiration from Beauty and the Beast. As a result, the conclusion is predictable, but the journey through the pages is pleasant. Although The Merchant's Daughter is classified as a young adult novel, it is definitely a worthy read for adults as well. Dickerson's writing is strong and compelling and the characters are well-developed, especially Annabel and Lord le Wyse. The story is told from the perspectives of both main characters, which provides satisfying insight into their emotions.
Annabel is a charming heroine who encounters numerous obstacles on her quest to live a happy, righteous, and faithful life. Though she faces evil, contempt, and fear, she remains undeterred. Her sweet and nurturing disposition is contrasted with Lord le Wyse's dark and brooding aura. In many ways, The Merchant's Daughter reminds me of Jane Eyre. Lord le Wyse and Mr. Rochester have much in common, and both are softened by love. The love between Annabel and Lord le Wyse slowly unfolds as the story progresses and circumstances draw them together. Their insecurities and doubts are real and applicable to readers of any age. The "happily ever after" ending is more rewarding after witnessing both characters wrestle with and finally admit to their feelings.
The Merchant's Daughter is a classic tale of inward beauty outshining outward appearances, but it delves deeper to offer messages about faith, strength of character, and love. This was my first introduction to Melanie Dickerson's work, and I definitely plan to read The Healer's Apprentice soon!
I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from NetGalley, courtesy of Zondervan. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
When Annabel moves to the manor to serve the new lord, whom many consider beastly, she faces dangers and hard work to which she’d been unaccustomed while her merchant father lived. Now she must try to maintain her dignity and her purity, despite her status as an indentured servant. She struggles to do her best but longs to become a nun and study God’s Word. Will the dream of her heart ever be realized?
As Annabel gets to know Lord le Wyse better, she begins to reconsider her attitudes and her life’s longings. But a lord and a servant could never make a match, right? Intrigue and conflict keep the story moving briskly as the reader is swept up in this engaging tale from medieval times. The novel also deals with prejudice and superstition, as well as honesty and trust.
Although written as a young adult book, The Merchant’s Daughter appeals to women of all ages, especially those who enjoy historical fiction. It’s loosely based on the fairy tale of “Beauty and the Beast,” and part of Melanie Dickerson’s series of such novels. I also enjoyed her first book, The Healer’s Apprentice, and look forward to more great reads from this author.
14th century England comes alive in Melanie Dickerson's rich retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
Annabel Chapman is the beauty who captures the heart of a love-wounded man and gentles the rage and mistrust that torments him. Lord Le Wyse exhibits scars that make some think him a beast, but his gruffness hides a good and honorable heart. Annabel discovers the man behind the off-putting veneer, a kind, generous, heroic man with whom she finds herself falling in love. But he is her lord, and she, an indentured servant, dares not hope for his requital.
When Annabel's propriety hedges on rejection, Ranulf Le Wyse believes himself unlovable. But when Annabel finds herself immersed in danger beyond her ability to defend herself, Ranulf may be the only one who can help her.
Engrossing plot twists and endearing characters made this read memorable, a true delight. Authentic period detail provided a cinematic experience of sound, textile, landscape, and the fabric of manor life. Almost want to reread it to savor the experience all over again.