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Extended Audio Sample The Housemaid’s Daughter, by Barbara Mutch Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Mutch Narrator: Bahni Turpin, Cat Goul Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A stunning first novel that tells a story of love and duty colliding on the arid plains of apartheid-era South Africa

When Cathleen Harrington leaves her home in Ireland in 1919 to travel to South Africa, she knows that she does not love the man she is to marry there—her fiancé Edward, whom she has not seen for five years. Isolated and estranged in a small town in the harsh Karoo desert, her only real companions are her diary and her housemaid, and later the housemaid’s daughter, Ada. When Ada is born, Cathleen recognizes in her someone she can love and respond to in a way that she cannot with her own family.

Under Cathleen’s tutelage, Ada grows into an accomplished pianist and a reader who cannot resist turning the pages of the diary, discovering the secrets Cathleen sought to hide. As they grow closer, Ada sees new possibilities in front of her—a new horizon. But in one night, everything changes, and Cathleen comes home from a trip to find that Ada has disappeared, scorned by her own community. Cathleen must make a choice: should she conform to society or search for the girl who has become closer to her than her own daughter?

Set against the backdrop of a beautiful yet divided land, The Housemaid’s Daughter is a startling and thought provoking novel that intricately portrays the drama and heartbreak of two women who rise above cruelty to find love, hope, and redemption.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “If you loved The Help, try The Housemaid’s Daughter…The friendship at its center will leave your heart singing.”

    Good Housekeeping (UK)

  • “Told from an interesting perspective and in a clear, sincere voice, this is a compelling story that sweeps readers into the life of a woman caught between two worlds, whose forbidden friendship with her mistress leads to tragedy and triumph. Poignant and gripping storytelling holds readers from beginning to end in this book that is as thought-provoking as it is lyrical.”

    RT Book Reviews (4½ stars)

  • “In this moving first novel, Mutch’s lilting prose summons the stark South African landscape, making readers feel the heat of the Karoo Desert and fear the rising waters of the Groot Vis. More than that, Mutch conveys the joys of dancing and music, the exultation of hope and courage, and the pain of being ostracized for one’s skin color. Rich in detail and subtle in its politics, this affecting novel tells a poignant, inspiring story.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Mutch’s sprawling debut spans five decades of South Africa’s richest—and most painful—history…A vividly drawn setting and Ada’s consistent, special voice drive the story and keep the pages turning.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A shared love of the piano brings two women together across the racial divide of apartheid South Africa…Mutch’s…setting is a fascinating one, and she does an excellent job of showing the horrifying effects of apartheid law on individual lives. The book may hold special appeal for music fans thanks to the numerous classical and South African jazz pieces lovingly referenced throughout.”

    Library Journal

  • “A compelling story…Ada’s voice is by turns as lyrical and fierce as the music she plays on her beloved piano…Mutch evokes compassion for this stark and beautiful land and for the characters who strive to find their place amidst the turmoil that grips it.”

    Patricia Falvey, bestselling author of The Yellow House

  • “[An] exquisite debut…This is a book to be cherished, one that will grow deeper and richer with re-reading.”

    Anna Jean Mayhew, author of The Dry Grass of August

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