The Merchant’s Daughter


TITLE:  The Merchant’s Daughter

AUTHOR: Melanie Dickerson

GENRE: Historic Fiction and Christian Fiction

SETTING(S) : 1352; Glynval, England

SUBJECT: Faith, Love, Indenture Servant, Medieval Life, Struggle & Life

MAIN CHARACTERS :  Annabel, Stephen (Annabel’s best friend), Gilbert Carpenter (castle mason), Adam ( Gilbert’s son), Beatrice ( lord’s servant), Bailiff Tom, Maud (baliff’s daughter),  Mistress Eustacia ( lord’s head servant) and Lord Le Wyse

SUMMARY: Annabel is the daughter of a merchant and the grand-daughter of a knight.  Her father has been dead for the past three years along with his fortune.  For three years her family has lived the way they did when he was alive and Annabel has learned to cook, milk the goat and other daily chores for her family to survive.  A new Lord comes to the town of Glynval and with him brings consequences for her family for not helping with the town harvest for three years.  One of the three children in her family has to become an indenture servant to Lord Le Wyse for three years as the result of the trial against her family.  Mean while Annabel’s eldest brother promises Baliff Tom for her hand in marriage.  This brings unwanted attention to Annabel and since her family has no money for her to join a convent she has only one option of becoming a servant to the new Lord.

Will Annabel be successful in her three-year contract as an indentured servant & gain the protection against Baliff Tom?

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A beautiful adaption of the tale of “Beauty & the Beast”.   I am a big fan of historic fiction novels and love the way this book portrays Medieval life.   As you may know I’ve read many historic fiction novels in the Regency era setting.  Love getting back to one of my most favorite time periods of the Middle Ages or Medieval era.  This book takes you back in time where people had to make difficult choices and lived very harsh lives compared to how we live today.

The relationship between Annabel and the other characters in this book shaped how she felt about servants and men.  Because of the type of relationship she had with Baliff Tom defined for her what a man & woman relationship was.  It provoked the feelings of fear, anger and need of protection in which she was not gaining from her own family.  Annabel’s need to get away from her home town & join the convent came from this relationship.  Once the holy bible comes to her that need to join a convent is unnecessary for her but the real need of protection. She gains inner peace with the reading of the holy bible but doesn’t gain the protection she needs until something drastic happens to Baliff Tom.

The Merchant’s Daughter is a book where one plot or one character’s actions does effect another character’s emotions, actions and possibly the whole plot of the story.  I love stories where this thought process is discussed because their aren’t enough books where domestic or physical abuse is discussed.  There is modern-day help for people like Annabel who are bullied, harassed or abused by people like Baliff Tom, but during the medieval ages & even during the 20th Century there was no such help for them.  It can only bring further discussion on how we can continually improve these programs so that there is no more bullying, domestic & physical abuse in our nation as well as nations around the world.