The Botanist’s Daughter
Publisher: Hachette Aus
Release Date : 31st July 2018
Discovery. Desire. Deception. A wondrously imagined tale of two female botanists, separated by more than a century, in a race to discover a life-saving flower . . .
In Victorian England, headstrong adventuress Elizabeth takes up her late father’s quest for a rare, miraculous plant. She faces a perilous sea voyage, unforeseen dangers and treachery that threatens her entire family.
In present-day Australia, Anna finds a mysterious metal box containing a sketchbook of dazzling watercolours, a photograph inscribed ‘Spring 1886’ and a small bag of seeds. It sets her on a path far from her safe, carefully ordered life, and on a journey that will force her to face her own demons.
In this spellbinding botanical odyssey of discovery, desire and deception, Kayte Nunn has so exquisitely researched nineteenth-century Cornwall and Chile you can almost smell the fragrance of the flowers, the touch of the flora on your fingertips . . .
There is something about dual –timeline stories, they give you a sense that you are getting more than just your money worth. They are captivating you with two leading characters sharing a common bond, only to be separate by time and distance. Yet in this case there was something extra special with the careful attention from the author and her passion showing through
Nunn’s beautiful The Botanist’s Daughter, offers readers to explore the world of botanical medicine n two vastly different periods. Modern time with Anna whose era takes these medicine for granted yet can’t seem to find her place in this field and Elizabeth who is a very determined young lady who to finish the journey her father started and discover a plant that could change history . Elizabeth’s journey lends itself to the name, however it very much a team effort with both characters offering key perspectives about this world readers are subjective too.
Nunn links the two stories perfectively, peppering the story with titbits that help form the greater picture. It flows naturally, with the discovering a of a ‘Pandora Box’ so to speak that opens up the past and allows the reader to be captive to both journeys that unfolded. As we alternative between the two stories and learnt about the worlds they lived in and how managed their journeys
Anna is cautious more of the two and it shows in this story. Her journey from to Sydney to Cronwell, isn’t with its share of questioning and captivating moments . Moments which defined this novel and made this story seemed just the more sweeter given the other perspective presented.
Elizabeth offered a more reckless perspective, she travelled to Chile, on what seemed a crazy mission thinking ahead of her time. She may not think through but it added a voice that was need for this novel . To help things come together even so it costed her a lot. She brought things to life in a completely different way and showed how even when everything is smooth sailing it can go so wrong.
Both strong female characters in their own way, The Botanist’s Daughter is a strong piece of literature that embodies the goodness of historical fiction. Nunn’s historical offering was something a little field, for me personally. A subject that I was aware of due to my studies but something I have never read about until now in fiction. It was interesting blend and I like how she crafted this novel over an item to some seems simple but to others is life changing.
It’s a beautiful engrossing read and one that should be picked up by readers that adore historical fiction with a little something extra. It’s engaging and if you are fan of the dual perspective/dual time period novels, this one is a treat.