This is a richly layered story, spanning 7 generations over 160 years, of 2 families (the Sackville-Wests and the Nicolsons) with a focus on the lives of the women. The author, a renowned historian, shares with the reader the lives of 7 women -- starting with her great-great Spanish grandmother Pepita, who enchanted Europe with her flamenco dancing in the 1850s, winning the heart of a young British diplomat (Lionel Sackville-West) in the process; continuing onward with Pepita's daughter Victoria, who later served as her father's hostess in Washington DC, where he served as British Ambassador during the 1880s; and forward to Victoria's daughter, Vita Sackville-West; Vita's granddaughter, the author; the author's mother Philippa, with whom she had an uneasy relationship; and the author's 2 daughters, Clementine and Flora.
The book takes the reader on a journey marked with many paths, showing how at times the choices made by one generation are sometimes repeated -- at heavy cost -- by future generations. "A House Full of Daughters" is also a testament to the power of love, hope, and faith, which in themselves can help a person to overcome one's own shortcomings, learn from past mistakes, and build closer, enduring ties with loved ones. This is a book that comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR ALL.