Rachel Woodley has been working in France as a governess when she receives a telegram informing her that her mother is ill. Although she returns home immediately, the telegram was delayed, and she finds her mother dead, the funeral over, and the landlord giving her two weeks to vacate her home.
While she is going through her mother’s things, she finds a recent newspaper photo of the Earl of Ardmore with his daughter, Lady Olivia Standish. The Earl looks exactly like her father would have looked had he not died on a botanical expedition when she was four. But it’s not just a resemblance. He is the same man, with the same scar on his face.
Rachel goes to Oxford to see her Cousin David, who she’s sure would know the truth. David explains that her father was the second son and that he and her mother were forced to part after her father’s older brother died and her father became heir to the estate.
Rachel is furious to hear that her father left them, that she has been lied to, and that she is illegitimate. The thought of all the times she missed her father also makes her angry. She is expressing her displeasure when they are interrupted by Simon Montfort, Cousin David’s neighbor in rooms. He takes Rachel away to calm her down.
Although Simon is a social columnist for the Daily Yell, he promises to keep private what he has overheard. Soon, he is helping her get an opportunity to meet her father. After a makeover of a new haircut and his sister’s fashionable clothes, he lends her his mother’s apartment and presents her to young London society as the chic Vera Merton, his cousin. Rachel is not entirely sure of her own motives but is soon positive that Simon is doing this for his own purposes, especially when she learns her sister Olivia was once his fiancée.
This novel is sheer frivolity, set as it is in the 1920s among the wild young things. It is certainly a bit predictable—soon we guess Rachel will end up with either her sister’s current fiancé or her previous one. But it has lots of snappy dialogue and enough twists to keep things interesting. Although I’m not generally fond of this genre, I enjoyed The Other Daughter.