Sunday, February 21, 2021

Daughter of the Sea by Sylvia Broady - Book Tour

Daughter Of The Sea

‘Well-paced … genuinely gripping’ Historical Novels Review

Jessica is grieving for her beloved father, trawler owner Jacob Kingdom, when a heated confrontation ends with her being cast out from the family home and the revelation of a shameful secret. She falls upon the kindness of strangers and meets a charismatic trawlerman, who is proud to walk out with Kingdom’s daughter.

But with her cold-hearted brother at the helm of the family business, there is discontent rising, and being Kingdom’s daughter begins to lose its charm. With Jessica desperate to prove herself worthy to the tight-knit community, does she have what it takes to weather the storm to come, or will her secret hold her back?

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Jessica has no idea who her birth mother is and she often fantasies about her.

All her life she’d lived by the estuary, it was part of her soul and who she was. Her father had told her she was the daughter of a sea fairy and in her head she heard his beloved voice saying to her, ‘I found you on the incoming tide, a wee scrap of a bairn, wrapped in seaweed and I plucked you up and brought you home.’

     Tears misted her eyes. Was it true? Was that what Mildred referred to? Was she an abandoned baby left on the seashore?

     Snuggled in her bed, she couldn’t get the thought out of her mind and that she was the abandoned daughter of a sea fairy. She kept the thought to herself, locked away in her heart. That night, she dreamt of a beautiful lady who cradled her and sang a haunting lullaby.

     ‘Visitor for you,’ Elsie called up the stairs to Jessica a few weeks later. ‘Coming,’ she answered as she finished putting away her freshly ironed garments. Going down, she wondered who it could be. Was it her friend Enid, relenting against her mother’s wishes?       But it wasn’t.

     I’ve come to take you out.’

    ‘Rick, this is a lovely surprise,’ she said, staring at the young man dressed in a blue shirt and a darker blue pinstriped suit with his hair slicked back with Brylcreem. He wasn’t like any young men she knew, who were always stiff and formal. And then embarrassment swept over her as she remembered the night they had first met. She gazed down at the clipped rug on the brown linoleum.

     He seemed unperturbed as he chatted away. ‘We’ll go to the flicks first and then I’ll show yer off to my mates, so get yer glad rags on. Come on, what yer waiting for?’

      She lifted her head and looked into his roguish-looking eyes. ‘Right,’ she said, dashing upstairs to change her dress, powder her face, add a touch of pink lipstick and a dab of Evening in Paris perfume.

     It wasn’t until they were in the cinema, watching a cowboy film Rick had chosen, she realised he hadn’t waited for her answer and assumed she would go with him. But she felt grateful he’d remembered her. It was nice to feel a man’s protective arm around her shoulders and be escorted out, socially.

      Afterwards, in the pub frequented by the trawlermen, she noticed that his friends all wore similar smart attire. She wasn’t used to drinking and this was her first time in a pub. And for a fleeting moment she wondered what Mildred would think. Smoke from cigarettes filled the room and, with everyone talking at once, she strained her ears to catch Rick’s words. The atmosphere overwhelmed her.

    Taking her by surprise, Rick grabbed her arm and drew her forward in full view of everyone and the buzz of noise stopped, the drinkers looking like stone statues with all eyes fixed on her. She felt like a naked mannequin on display in a shop window and tried to edge nearer to Rick. But he kept her in the same position, smiling as he held everyone’s attention. He announced, ‘Meet my girl, Jessica, Kingdom’s daughter. May God rest his soul.’

     For a few seconds, no one spoke and then everyone spoke at once. ‘You, crafty sod, you’ve kept that quiet,’ and ‘Are yer gonna marry her and tek over the business?’ and ‘Aye, do that and up our money.’ So the banter continued.

Author Bio –

Sylvia Broady was born in Hull and has lived in the area all her life, although

she loves to travel the world. It wasn’t until she started to frequent her local

library after World War II that her relationship with literature truly began, and

her memories of the war influence her writing as does her home town. She has

had a varied career in childcare, the NHS and the EYC Library Services, but is

now a full-time writer.

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