BookReview The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson

BookReview The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson
Annabel Chapman's life changed drastically three years ago. Her father, a wealthy merchant, lost all of his ships and then he lost his life due to illness. With this, her dream of going to a convent was also lost. Only the wealthy could afford to send their daughters to the nunnery. Annabel, her mother and two older brothers
are left with debt and no money to pay it. They are ordered to work in the village fields to pay off their debt but they refuse. 

The Chapmans are taken to court and ordered to pay their fines for not working.  They have no money so the court orders that one of them must become an indentured servant to the new lord, Ranulf le Wyse for three years to pay off the debt. Annabel's oldest brother comes up with a way to pay the debt - Annabel will marry Bailiff Tom and in return he'll pay the family's debt.  Bailiff Tom actually has no intention of paying the whole family's debt, he just wants Annabel. Annabel refuses to marry Bailiff Tom.

Annabel decides that she will be the one to go to be the indentured servant of Lord le Wyse. The lord is said to be a cruel, harsh man, even frightening in the way he looks. Annabel begins working in the kitchen with Lord le Wyse's servant, Mistress Eustacia. She has been with lord's family since he was a child. Mistress Eustacia doesn't see Lord le Wyse as the terrible creature is he believed to be. Slowly, Annabel begins to see him in the same manner as Mistress Eustacia. 

Lord le Wyse kept Annabel safe many times from Bailiff Tom's unwelcomed advances. Even though Bailiff Tom was warned by Lord le Wyse to leave Annabel alone he continued. Lord le Wyse has been quite gruff and frightening but she begins to understand why as she gets to know him. Lord le Wyse and Annabel develop a friendship when Annabel begins to care for a burn on the lord's arm. Annabel also starts reading the Bible to Lord le Wyse nightly, where he sees the love she has for learning about God.

One night Lord le Wyse discovers Bailiff Tom in the woods unconscious. Who injured Bailiff Tom? Speculation turns to Annabel after an investigation. To keep Annabel safe Lord le Wyse wants to send her to a convent. Does Bailiff Tom die? Why does Lord le Wyse protect Annabel? Does Annabel finally fulfill her dream of going to the nunnery? Read The Merchants Daughter to find out what happens.

Annabel is such a likable character. She wants to serve God. The only question I have is why she didn't work in the fields even though her brothers and mother refused. Her not working did not fit her character. Lord le Wyse seemed so gruff when he was first introduced. As I read on, I discovered it was due to emotional pain. I felt sorry for Lord le Wyse. He didn't think he would ever look at a woman in a positive light again. Annabel helped him changed that.

This book shows that God puts people in our lives at the right time to help us. Annabel needed a protector from Bailiff Tom, Lord le Wyse was that protector. If she hadn't become Lord le Wyse's servant she would have not had his protection. The Merchant's Daughter also shows us that if we are choosing to follow God, he will work everything out to our good. Lord le Wyse really struggled with his attitude toward women. He knew the Bible well but he had to choose to do what is said. When he did, God melted the pain and hatred in his heart toward women.

I didn't think I would like a book about the middle ages. The Merchant's Daughter is set in the 1300s in England. This book drew me into that time period. I only stopped reading because I had to, I would have liked to read it all in one sitting. I will definitely read more books that are set in the middle ages after reading The Merchant's Daughter.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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