Daisy Saves the Day

I would have liked to know how old Daisy is. At first I assumed maybe 14, but Shirley Hughes’s illustrations suggest someone much younger, so I suppose it’s my 21st century sensibilities that want Daisy to be older, so she can go out to work.

Shirley Hughes, Daisy Saves the Day

Let’s make a guess and say she is eleven and the whole story becomes much more heartrending. (And it was already rather sad.) Daisy lives with her mother and two brothers and they are poor. It’s the beginning of the 20th century and even though Daisy does well at school, she needs to go out to work, which in this case also means she has to leave home and go and live with two rich old women, and their surly servants.

Shirley Hughes, Daisy Saves the Day

She’s not good at housework, and she would love to have some fun in her life, like reading books and seeing the coronation of George V, along with everyone else. Her young age will explain how she offended her employers, which made her life harder still.

But Daisy is a heroine, after all, so a change is coming…

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