Chaining Daisy is a brutally honest contemporary read exploring the depths of human cruelty and suffering. A raw and wonderful story about life in all its hopeful, awful splendour
If someone breaks, can they ever truly be put back together?
Book two in the Perennials Trilogy, Chaining Daisy continues the story begun in Becoming Lili. Now adults coping with relationships, marriage, and parenthood, Lili and her friends have no idea of the dark days to come. Lili’s London friend, Daisy, is no longer the happy-go-lucky girl Lili first met. Desperate for a baby, Daisy feels the chains of expectation tighten as her failure to conceive places an unbearable strain on her marriage and stretches her husband’s patience to breaking point. Knowing she should be happy – after all, she’s rich, has wonderful friends and family, and has a very nice dog – still Daisy struggles to cope with depression and increasing dependence on the smooth comforts of alcohol.
“It’s a gilded cage. A lovely, lovely, gilded cage.”
Lili’s friend Kevin believes his life is perfect. His garden design career is thriving, and he has wonderful friends. And then there are his growing feelings for his Ukrainian cleaner, Kateryna – a tiny powerhouse of a woman, she has turned his house into a home. Intrigued by her exotic accent and her pragmatic, down-to-earth outlook on life, Kevin knows he is falling in love with her. But Kateryna is a woman with a tragic mysterious past who does not trust lightly and has a secret – or rather two secrets – which will change Kevin’s world forever when he learns of them.
“I am old enough. Old enough to know what it is I am wanting, and old enough to take it when I am finding it.”
Daisy’s life continues to go from bad to worse, as her husband Guy proves just how far he will go to get her pregnant, and Daisy slowly begins to accept that being alone – no matter how scary a prospect – is better than being trapped in a loveless and increasingly violent marriage. Meanwhile, Kevin learns how arbitrarily callous fate can be, when tragedy destroys his newly found happiness and leaves him devastated and heartbroken – so shattered, his friends fear he will never recover. In frightening parallels to one another, both Daisy and Kevin hit rock bottom, and seek salvation in the depths of a bottle.
“I’m afraid he’s going to crack. That eventually he’ll just … break down. And when he does, the longer it’s taken, the worse it’s going to be for him.”
But even in the darkest night, there is always a glimmer of hope. Sanctuary is offered to Kevin and Daisy, and, for a few days, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for them. The realisation they are not alone in their misery is a comfort and the healing process tentatively begins. Then an evening of reckless drunken confession sends Daisy spiralling back into her manipulative and destructive marriage – but this time it is worse, much worse. Containing scenes some readers may find distressing, Daisy finds herself trapped and alone, fearful for her sanity and her very life. Can her friends realise and rescue her before it is too late? Or must Daisy face her demons alone?
“I have to tell someone. I have to, or else I’ll go mad.”
Chaining Daisy is a magnificent, sweeping story of life in all its harsh, beautiful wonder, and it is a tale that will rip at your heart and hold you spellbound until the very last page.
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