on 15 March 2016
This is a delightful book; an interesting premise, perfectly paced, and written with great assurance.
Beware, though, that it (along with many of the best novels), is a little slow to get started. I read 9% and came very close to giving up. I vacillated for some months between deleting and continuing, before eventually deciding it was worth half an hour to see if it could gain traction.
I'm so glad I decided as I did. It would have been a great (but unknown) mistake to have abandoned this delightful novel.
I hope the author produces more works of similar quality.
on 31 October 2011
I've read earlier versions of this book in the past and it's such a pleasure to see the quality that shines through every line is now available for a wider readership to enjoy. Very professionally presented with sumptuous imagery and exquisite use of language, from that very powerful opening onwards I was drawn into the story. One of the best books I've read in many a long year, Daisychains of Silence is a true cross-over novel which is certainly not restricted to habitual readers of the Romance genre.
A remarkable writer. I urge you to read this. You'll not be disappointed.
on 2 February 2012
This really is a gem of a book. Although the story is terrifically involving and packs a tremendous emotional punch, it's the sheer quality of the writing that stands out for me. There's a restrained, subtle, often quite quirky elegance to the phrasing which makes me linger over the writing, savouring its originality and beauty. There are some writers (Samantha Harvey, Suzanne Berne, Jon McGregor etc) who I can read and enjoy simply for the quality of their writing. I'd definitely put Catherine MacLeod in this category. This really is accomplished, ambitious, thoroughly bewitching writing. Very impressed.
on 31 October 2011
I had the pleasure of reading this bitter-sweet tale when it was up for review on harpercollins. Amid the myriad praise from readers, I added my own, one-word review: "Captivating". Because it truly is; from the beautiful prose to the delicate and deep characterisation. I got excited about it and urged the author to not waste time on the snail-paced conventional route - why wait two years when we now have Kindle? I'm delighted that the author took my advice and has published this engaging novel. I'll be listing the author, Catherine, in my "author finds" feature, which is currently populated with one author only. You heard it here first: Daisychains is a must-read - captivating... Stef Mcdaid WriteIntoPrint @ukeditor
on 10 November 2011
What a fascinating, beautifully written story. This book takes you by surprise and is in no way preditctable. Very different from any other book I have read. I love the Character of Daisy, the way her past is revealed and all that she has encountered over the 3 days she spends with her mother is remarkable. I especially liked the part where Daisy meets Roxy at a most traumatic time in her life, when they first meet in the café you're really not sure which ways it's going to go, Daisy being so vulnerable. I'm looking forward to reading your next book. This is must read, don't delay, download NOW.
on 7 November 2011
What a FABULOUS book - truly beautiful writing! My wife and I are both huge fans. It's not just the crisp dialogue, the gently flowing prose, the tense psychological interplay, or even the touching, poignant insight into a broken child's mind, that commands attention, but - above all - it is the 'voice' of a master storyteller. With skill and imagination, you are like Ellen - working words, not threads and fabric, expertly by hand; weaving your story into a thing to be cherished.
on 29 January 2012
I've only just got my Kindle so am trying books by writers new to me. This one really appealed from the book description and then when I read the opening pages in the look inside feature I was totally hooked. It's a very powerful opening. I've got all Joanne Harris's novels, and I also like Anne Tyler and if you can imagine a combination of those two writers I reckon Catherine McLeod's Daisychains of Silence is what you might come up with.
I've read a few of the other reviews and I'm surprised nobody mentioned the little snatches of humour. The opening chapter is slow, (but absolutely gripping) and there's no hint there that this will lighten up, but it does. In among some heart-stopping moments that challenged some of my preconceptions about girls, their cruelties and their friendships, I thought, this is funny in places! It's beautifully written. The way the characters interact is compelling and the dialogue is so convincing and realistic. I would have liked to hear a bit more about Saffron, but I loved Rita, and Roxy, and was glad to see Roxy still figures in the story at the end. There are some tragic things that happen in this book, but the writing doesn't dwell on them, more on Daisy's relationships with her mother and father, as well as her husband, and her efforts to come to terms with everything that's happened. This was a very moving and powerful story of love, secrets, trust and betrayal that came to a (mostly) satisfying conclusion. There were a couple of loose ends that made me wonder what she's going to do, but then I saw there's going to be a sequel, so hopefully those ends will be tied up in that. All in all it was a brilliant read. I wish it was in paperback because I'd pass it on to my friends if I could. I'll tell them about it though, and keep a look out for the sequel.
on 1 November 2011
This book is beautifully written. It engages the emotions fully, and leaves the reader with with stunning images both comfortable, and uncomfortable, that linger long after the book is finished. A highly recommended book.
on 23 July 2012
Daisychains is well outside my normal reading tastes, but a much anticipated read for me. Everything I liked Daisychains as it climbed the charts periodically on Harpercollins authonomy site for newbie writers was in the final, polished, published novel. The evocative, yet precise prose, the diligent construction of each sentence, which is of course, as Stephen King says, the only way to write; one word at a time. Deidre is a tragic figure but with pizzazz, we don't feel sorry for her, we root for her as her life in intimate and beautifully described detail is paraded before our eyes. The veil of memory is lifted, the borrow a quote from the prologue and we are given a pen portrait of a human life and loves that is both thoroughly absorbing and totally realistic. The motivations of the characters, the trauma of boarding school, the awfulness that happens to her Dad, the hope there is in Jake, all come together to create a tonal experience that is both tragic and pathetic (in the truest sense of that word - i.e. - inspiring of pathos). Strangely, for a book that is about as far from the thriller genre as it's possible to be, I found this story a real page turner too. We care about these characters, constructed from love, and reality, characters who could easily walk off these pages into real life. I was sad when I finished it, a complex experience, emotional, thought-provoking and most of all, dripping with verisimilitude. Art imitating life, no, more than that, these characters were three dimensional, their motivations, their travails and their joys were woven expertly into an unfolding tale that took a piece of human experience and examined it absolutely. Bravo Diana, great stuff.
on 23 January 2012
Throughout this story of silences and secrets runs a thread of threads; literally! The very first line is about embroidery threads being laid out ready to work with, and this prefigures the exquisite intricacy of the story, where fine details are laid out like the most brilliant of tapestries. Within a few pages the threads are being used to do something quite different and rather more disturbing than the cosy domestic scene of contented craftsmanship the opening pages suggest: the main character uses needle and thread to sew her mouth symbolically shut.
At this point, I was totally hooked. You couldn't have found a more compelling image to sum up themes of the book, that maintaining of silence at such a terrible personal cost to the characters.
Catherine MacLeod has achieved a very powerful novel, delving into the secrets and hurts of one family, and of one very brave and vulnerable woman, but the story tugs at the heart because the threads that run through it are rooted in the shared experience of many folks over the ages. The story threads connect us to the reality that fiction holds up for us to look at, more bearable than perhaps our own, but which can help us face our own truths if we let it.