The Merchant’s Daughter
By Melanie Dickerson
Fairy tales are “in” these days, from TV shows like Once Upon a Time and Grimm, to upcoming movies based on the stories of Snow White and Hansel and Gretel. Melanie Dickerson’s latest book proves that books are just as hot. The Merchant’s Daughter is a charming romance set in medieval England, with similarities to Beauty and the Beast.
Seventeen-year-old Annabel Chapman is forced into servitude to repay her family’s debts. The new lord of her village, Ranulf, has an awful temper and physical disfigurements, making him feared by many of the villagers. Romance ensues!
Annabel is a very likeable heroine. She is kind, hard-working, and strong, and soon learns to see past her lord’s gruff exterior. I appreciated how Annabel’s actions and thoughts were sympathetic to modern readers, while still remaining consistent with expectations of a woman in the 14th century.
I especially enjoyed the scenes in which Annabel and Lord Ranulf read the Bible together. Annabel longed to read the Scripture her whole life, but this was a rare opportunity for people of the time. Seeing Scripture through her eyes as she finally has the chance to experience God’s word made me view the Bible with a new perspective and made me appreciate it even more.
The setting, obviously well-researched, is another strong point. The town and its time period come to life. Fans of Beauty and the Beast will also enjoy small touches throughout that reference the original story without being too obvious.
Melanie Dickerson has written a sweet romance with relatable characters and a unique setting.
Review by Becky Dean.