Kayte Nunn – The Botanist’s Daughter

Hachette Australia 2018

This is another of a burgeoning sub-genre I suspect of tales told in parallel in the past and the present.

The present-day story is set, first in Sydney and then in Cornwall, in 2017 and follows the fortunes of Anna who finds a hidden metal box when renovating her grandmother’s house, left to her upon the old lady’s death.

From her grandmother Anna has learnt a love of plants and gardens and this is the link to the past. The need to solve the mystery of the box also results in discoveries about her own heritage.

The story in the past, set in 1885 ff, follows Elizabeth, the botanist’s daughter of the title, on a quest from her home in Cornwall to Chile in search of a powerful and potentially dangerous medicinal plant. This was the task set for her by her dying father and she risks her life to fulfil it, finding love along the way in foreign parts, just as our modern day-heroine does.

The novel is Kayte Nunn’s first foray into historical fiction. It is an engaging tale, well executed and written at a pace to hold the reader’s attention without losing finesse.

Beautiful cover (and text) design by Christabelle Designs makes it an attractive book shop package