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In 1825, the three Burbridge sisters—Henrietta and her two unmarried sisters, Rose and Beth—wait by the quayside of Sydney Harbour for Mr Richeley, Henrietta’s husband, to disembark. 

Henrietta is seething with resentment, as it has taken him four years to collect her and their children to return to India. The goodwill of her domineering father and manipulative mother is fast evaporating. Ever flirtatious, Henrietta exacts her revenge, shocking Beth, outraging Rose, and frustrating the matrimonial ambitions of their mother. 

A decade later, the tensions between the three Burbridge sisters are at best fractious. Beth struggles to create harmony between her sisters and their parents, but all hope of peace is destroyed with arrival of their cousin, who insists that the Burbridges pay back the money they owe his late father’s estate.  

With her unmarried daughters her only resource, Mrs Burbridge makes a last desperate attempt to address the family’s situation by steering them toward suitable marriages, despite their unwillingness. With Henrietta and Rose at odds, it is left to quiet Beth to step forward to try to save the family. 

Dearest Daughter is the second of three in The Sisters’ Saga, which tells of Henrietta and her sisters and the compromises they must make to reconcile love’s delusions with the demands of reality.

About The Author

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Alison Ferguson completed one of the first degrees in writing back in the 70s. Later, after qualifying and working as a speech pathologist, she moved into academia—researching, lecturing, and publishing in the area of clinical linguistics. Now retired, she is pursuing her fascination with writing.

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