Daisychains of Silence, by Catherine MacLeod.
In July 2011, HarperCollins wrote:
‘Daisychains of Silence’ is a literary fiction novel that narrates the story of Daisy (christened Deirdre), a woman whose discovery of her husband’s treachery drives her to return to the household of her mother, Ellen. Tormented by her husband’s betrayal and troubled by her complicated relationship with Ellen, Daisy begins to reflect on the childhood experiences that shaped her.
‘The narrative of ‘Daisychains’ is rich with imagery of the Scottish Highlands and the motif of needlework, both of which give it a fresh and unique feel: this did not feel like a novel I have read before, which is a great start as far as grabbing an Editor’s attention goes. The opening sequence, too, hooks and engages the reader; juxtaposing the colourful picture of Daisy sewing beside her mother with the dramatic image of her stitching together her lips. There are numerous other strengths in the plotting of and characters in the narrative. The dynamics of Daisy’s relationships, particularly with Jo and Ellen, are great. I was especially drawn to Ellen, her mental deterioration, and how this affects Daisy’s feelings towards her and their interaction. Equally, I liked the parallel storylines of the young and the old Daisy.’
‘This book has a strong literary quality. The underlying concept is strong; for the most, your characterisation is vivid and fresh and your setting is rich. I genuinely wish you all the best progressing with this novel.’
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Charged with the fragility of family, the power of forgiveness.
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Part One weaves between the 1970s and 2011.
Part Two is set almost entirely in the present day.
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Daisy’s story unfolds over three days of memories and misunderstandings during a visit to her mother, Ellen, who’s in the early stages of dementia.
An idyllic childhood in the highlands of Scotland ends abruptly when Daisy is sent to boarding school, but that’s just the beginning of her unravelling. Fall-out from her parents’ disintegrating marriage spirals her into chaos and the 1970s Punk scene, but childhood memories intrude.
Daisy keeps it all inside, but she has had enough. Forbidden contact with her family, she determines to build her life from scratch, based on honesty not lies.
All goes well for twenty five years, till her husband faces a crisis of his own. Daisy reverts to old ways of coping as betrayal and family secrets are exposed, loosening the threads woven so tightly into the fabric of her life. Was her father’s death suicide, as she’d been told, or did her mother kill her father?
Ellen is losing her already shaky grip on reality. If Daisy is ever to find out the truth, she must do it now. A gun and a bundle of letters at her mother’s house trigger a series of painful but ultimately cathartic memories, forcing Daisy to re-examine her past.
The story explores the bonds of friendship and the ties between mother and daughter, father and lover. It illustrates how forgiveness transcends all hurts.
Mostly though, Daisy’s story is about trust.
Complete at around 77,000 words.
Copyright © Catherine MacLeod 2004-2011. All Rights Reserved.
Daisychains of Silence is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental. The author asserts the moral right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. No part of the material on this website may be reproduced or stored in retrieval system without the prior written consent of the author.