Downton Abbey, The American version?

Novelists are often asked to compare their novels to others so that readers can decide if they want to read the book. So let me put my hands up now…. My novel, Daisy Chain, is not lofty literature, although it has won some awards from Page Turner and the Historical Fiction Company. Nor is it a cosy romance. It is a blend of fact and fiction as are most historical novels, and the only way I can describe it is as an American version of Downton Abbey with a smidgeon of West Wing thrown in.

The most interesting thing about my research for this book was the number of lies I tripped over. Daisy Suckley was my grandmother’s cousin and I had met her as a child. During her lifetime, people approached her whenever they were researching Roosevelt, and she insisted that she wrote no diaries and that she only knew him as a friend and employer. No one mentioned her as being with him when he died and they thought of her as only an archivist in his library. But upon her death, a suitcase was found containing love letters from Roosevelt and her diaries. Some of the letters were missing pages, and some of the diary entries were crossed out, with different entries put in their place ‘for public consumption?’. In other words, she was adept at lying and keeping secrets, although I’m sure she would say she was loyal to him.

Putting together family gossip, and researching further, I joined the dots and I think I have a story closer to the truth than many told before. Daisy was friendly with many of the important women of the day; women who worked behind the scenes and whose names have become largely forgotten. My primary aim in writing the book was to restore them to the pages of history, and capture the real spirit of my cousin, Daisy.

In doing this, I wanted to write a truly absorbing story and I hope you will enjoy it, whether you’re a Downton Abbey fan or not.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: