The Silversmith’s Daughter by Annie Murray is a comprehensive historical novel set during World War I from 1915 in Birmingham. As Birmingham is my home town, I loved knowing the familiar locations. The Jewellery Quarter is well known to me as I have most of my rings and earrings from there!
The Silversmith’s Daughter shows life on the home front. We see the effects of war on the families left behind. World War I was a slaughterhouse of young men who were merely cannon fodder. The grief is palpable. “Her reaching out to God was like a howl that she felt from the very core of her.” The grief hits and never goes away. Communities and families drowned in grief.
There is the theme of single mothers. In 1915 unwed mothers and their children were seen as a source of shame. The Silversmith’s Daughter explodes this myth as a character is surrounded by love. “This is a child, not a dirty secret.”
Some of the novel is set within a hospital environment. Injuries were terrible and life changing. Men needed to be rehabilitated into society. Those who could be patched up were returned to the Front.
Pregnancy was a dangerous affair. Not all pregnancies ended happily.
Family and community are important. The love and care radiates outwards. It is a privilege to watch love and support in action.
All the characters drawn were realistic and likable. There were some huge hearts that shared what little they had with those who had less.
I adored The Silversmith’s Daughter. I always love Annie Murray’s novels. The characters lodge in my heart and I enjoy the familiar Birmingham locations.