Wednesday, April 20, 2016
The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson
Beautiful Christian twist on Beauty and the Beast. It was a great story of how the two main characters had a relationship with God. Annabel was the daughter of a wealthy merchant who died and left her and her family in a unpleasant situation. Not taking the necessary actions they needed to lead Annabel into servitude of the rumored to be not-so-nice Lord Ranulf, who has convinced himself that he will never love again after suffering such heartache. Annabel is determined to complete her years of service and head off to a nunnery as she is anxious to read the bible for herself and convinced that God cannot be so angry with his people and that all he wants to do is punish them (based off the preaching of her great Priest). However, God has different plans for her and Lord Ranulf. They are faced with decisions of following their own path or following God's will.
I don't think "the beast" was portrayed very beastly. For me, I think his demeanor was actually a lot nicer than the normal 'lords' for the middle age setting (only based off of other books and movies). As a Christian, however, I can see where he would come off as not being a very nice person. The rumors of him made him out to be a horrible person but his actions never really followed through on that.
I think the story unfolded rather quickly to say that the love between the two characters could be considered legit. I mean who really figures out that they are in love with someone by the end of two weeks. Or the other man who was interested in Annabel proposes to her on the second walk together. I guess to see the feelings to be taken more seriously I would have like this story to be played out over a couple months or so.
As a Christian story the author did a great job showing the bitterness being eased. Lord Ranulf was very bitter but the closer his relationship grew with Annabel God was able to heal him. Sometimes it takes another person for God to reveal to you his plans and Dickerson did a marvelous job keeping both characters' focus on God. It did seem that they were the only Christians in the book. During the church scene the rest of the village seemed to not be interested at all and besides Annabel and Lord Ranulf there was not talk of God until she confronted the whole village in order to protect him.
I did enjoy this book. I am a softy for the middle age times. It's focus and reminder of God's forgiveness was a great focal point. I would recommend it to any of my Christian and non Christian friends. I have enjoyed Dickerson's first two novels in this series and I am anxious to read the rest of them!
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars