Review of Set Me Free by Daniela Sacerdoti

Published: 30th April 2015
Publisher: Black & White
Pages: 256


Margherita’s marriage is slowly falling apart. Getting pregnant after trying for so long may have been a fabulous surprise for her, but for her husband it was the last straw. When she needs him most, her husband is just not there for her or their children and she realises that they need time apart to figure out where their marriage is going. As she struggles to come to terms with her new life, Margherita decides to leave London and spend the summer in Glen Avich, where her mum and stepdad have just opened a new coffee shop. She needs time away to reconnect with her daughter Lara and sort out her life. But Glen Avich can have a strange effect on people, and when she and Lara start working for Torcuil Ramsay at a rundown local estate, everything begins to change. Margherita finds her heart awakened in a way she never thought possible and Lara begins a new friendship with a mysterious local boy, Mal, which makes her mother feel increasingly uneasy. And just when Margherita is finally beginning to discover who she really is, she finds out how quickly things can change and how hard it can be to make brave choices.


Thank you to Black & White for kindly sending me a review copy.

Set Me Free begins in 1916 when a young boy is pulled from Glen Avich and into the war. He is deeply convinced that he will be seeing his family again yet the chapter title suggests otherwise. We branch away from the war and into the present day where Margherita has fallen pregnant. The only issues is: her husband isn’t exactly thrilled and neither is Lara, their anxious adopted six year old daughter.

“But I’ve known you my whole life. You were always in my dreams.”

Being alongside Margherita throughout her pregnancy and birth made me feel close to her: protective in a way because she felt real. Despite the plot centering around her struggles with Ash (her husband), we also learnt about Laura’s trouble with her past. I liked the combination of the two as Daniela allowed Margherita to grow stronger as the chapters and her life developed.

“He wanted to go dressed as Batman because you love the Batman films…”

When Margherita decided to spend the summer in Glen Avich, I was thrilled that she had chosen to spend time with her children away from her husband. It took her some time to adjust and the plot was the same; it was her shadow almost. Her personality changed a little but not completely – she came out of her shell and settled into her new life.

“He hadn’t set me free…”

Daniela moved away from the norm of having a new man make Margherita and that was a lovely, refreshing change. Her life was solely about her children and finding happiness on her own terms. Daniela’s writing is so unique and cleanly described. After some time away from the writing world, I’m so happy that she’s back.

Twitter: @danisacerdoti