A Precious Daughter by Diane Allen
Historical Romance, Saga
Precious Daughter by Diane Allen is a moving family saga set between Canada
and Liverpool during the 19th century.
Set between the wild fells of North Yorkshire, Canada and Liverpool, A
Precious Daughter by Diane Allen is a sweeping saga novel following a
family’s struggles in the 19th century.
When Ethan Postlethwaite, his wife Grace and their daughter Amy announce
that they will be leaving the family home in the Yorkshire Dales, Grace’s parents
are heartbroken. Hoping for a new life prospecting for gold in the wilds of
Canada, the young family say goodbye and set sail across the Atlantic in search
of a brighter future.
The journey there proves hard and treacherous, however, and upon arrival it
becomes apparent that the riches they had been promised in the gold fields
have already been plundered. So when the family is devastated by the death of
Grace, Ethan decides he must take his daughter back to England.
Arriving in Liverpool, Ethan and Amy soon find work in a dairy as cow-keepers,
but Amy is restless and struggles to settle into yet another new life. And when
a chance encounter at a cattle show ignites an old friendship, she must decide
where her own future lies and what she must do in order to find happiness at
last . . .
Diane Allen was born in Leeds, but raised at her
family’s farm deep in the Yorkshire Dales. After
working as a glass engraver, raising a family and
looking after an ill father, she found her true niche in
life, joining a large-print publishing firm in 1990. She
now concentrates on her writing full time, and is
Honorary Vice President of the Romantic Novelists’
Association. Diane’s novels include Daughter of the
Dales, The Miner’s Wife and A Precious Daughter.
Diane and her husband Ronnie live in the Dales
market town of Settle, and have two children and four beautiful grandchildren.
Fourteen-year-old Amy Postlethwaite closed her eyes and smiled as the sun warmed her skin. Above her where she lay, the skylarks sang and the soft warm winds of late summer were filled with the scent of wild thyme and heather. She opened her eyes to watch the shadow of the clouds scuttle along the dark hill of Whernside and then turned to look at her lifelong friend, Joshua Middleton. He was lying next to her, with his legs crossed and his blond head resting on his folded arms behind his head, as he sucked a piece of moorland grass in his mouth. Both of them had wandered together that morning, to get out of the way of having to sit in quiet contemplation, as they did most Sundays.
Amy had been worrying about her family’s decision to change their lives and had moaned most of the morning to Joshua about it. ‘I don’t want to leave here, Joshua. I want to stay here forever. Dentdale is my home. They shouldn’t be making me leave the ones I love, just to go searching for gold. It’s the other side of the world we are to go to – I’ll never see you again.’ She sighed and rolled on her side, then looked at her best friend, whom she regarded as her big brother.
‘Tha’ll have to go, if your father says you have to. You can always come back. Dentdale’s not going anywhere, and your grandparents will always be here.’ Joshua turned his head and looked lazily at Amy, as she moaned once again about her parents’ decision to make a new life for themselves in the goldfields of the Klondike. ‘I’ll be honest, I’m going to miss you. I know my mates plague me about you always being with me, but they don’t understand that we are like sister and brother – and nothing else.’ Josh smiled and put his arm round her.
‘I’m going to miss you and all. You make up for me being an only one, and I love our time together. I wish my father wasn’t full of dreams and rubbish. My mother’s content here, and my grandmother and grandfather will be broken-hearted when they find out what my father’s been planning. Every night when I’m lying in my bed I hear my parents talking; they’ve planned their trip and have been saving for months. Who in their right mind would leave the peace and tranquillity of this dale? I just don’t want to go.’ Amy buried her head in Joshua’s shoulder and sobbed.
‘Hey, I’ll always be here for you to come back to – and we can write. You can tell me about your adventures. Think of all the things you’ll see. There’ll be bears and buffalo and wolves: you’ll love it out there.’ Joshua smiled at Amy. She had no choice but to go and leave him, if her father had set his mind on travelling to the goldfields. In truth, he’d miss the lass, who had tagged along with him no matter where he went. His feelings towards her were starting to change and sometimes he had the urge to kiss her, which he worried about; after all, this was Amy, with her tangled wild hair and cast-off clothes – she was just a friend.
‘Well, I hope my grandfather stops them from going. My mother said that he’d have plenty to say about what my father had done this week. I want to stay here always with you. They are not thinking of me and what I want,’ Amy growled.
‘Parents never do, Amy. You’ll have to make the best of it. Now whisht and enjoy the time we have together. Try and forget about it for an hour or two – it might never happen.’ Joshua lay next to Amy and felt a wave of sadness come over him. This would be one of the last times they would be together, and both of them knew it.FacebookPinterestTwitterEmailShare
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