Willig's THE OTHER DAUGHTER was a quick paced read with lots of action, parties, the have and have nots and a lot of characters to sift through. Rachel reminisces often about her childhood throughout but always through rose-colored glasses. Her father died when she was four and her mom died before she could return from her governess job in France. From there she is left bereft with no one left in her family except her cousin David and her friend Alice and her husband along with the Vicar. We get to know the multi-faceted characters throughout and in London especially Rachel/Vera, Simon, Cece, Olivia and John as Rachel tries to put her life to rights no longer having a home, job or family and a secret that she uncovers that turns her life upside down and also fills some of the missing pieces of her childhood along with things her mother said and did.
As Rachel deals with the secret and its potential backlash she is befriended by Simon, a friend of her cousin, whom helps her throughout but also seems to have an agenda of his own. As she becomes acquainted through Simon with those having money even if not friends nor totally accepted her life changes in many ways but is it for the better? She spends time remembering her mother and how she was brought up and that filters into her actions and speech. She reminisces about how her mom had to teach piano to have any money to provide food and shelter, the outings they took and things they did together. Even those with money seem to have a lot to hide and show one face to the world but are totally different when alone or think they are not being seen.
There were vivid descriptions of the parties, homes, grounds and clothing. There were plenty of secrets, lies, deceptions, parties, drinking, truths and half truths, affection but not necessarily love, plotting, darkness and ultimately some love. There was a happily ever after in the offing but not enough closure. There were a lot of loose ends which an epilogue would have helped tie up. This story could easily segue into another book or at least a novella but I'm not sure if that's the author's intent.
Willig is a new to me author only having read THAT SUMMER: A NOVEL previously. I will give some of her other books a try to see if THE OTHER DAUGHTER is a better representation of her writing since it was a much more enjoyable read for me.