Saturday, 18 December 2010

The Good Daughters

Author: Joyce Maynard
Genre: Modern Fiction
Pages: 276
First Published: 2010
First Line: "October 1949 - It begins with a humid wind, blowing across the fields from the northeast and strangely warm for this time of year."

Synopsis: Ruth Plank and Dana Dickerson were born on the same day, in the same small New Hampshire hospital in the 1950's. Ruth is the fifth daughter to a stable farming family while Dana is raised by free-spirited, drifter parents who are constantly on the look out for unattainable dreams. Ruth longs to break free from her small town life while Dana longs for stability in her life. Over the years the girls keep in contact mainly because Ruth's mother is adamant on the 'birthday sisters' staying in touch.

Both girls try to find their ways in the world and try to find acceptance within their own families. Told in the alternating voices of both girls, "The Good Daughters" follows the lives of these two very different girls from the 1950's to the present as they learn about family, love, sex, loss and parenthood.

My Thoughts: I had a hard time rating this book. I would have rated it 2.75/5 stars because I thought it was just ok but would recommend it if you weren't set on having a big 'ta-da' ending.

Personally, I found the book depressing, dark and a little hard to get through. There wasn't a lot of joy in the girls' lives (except when Ruth finds love -- one of the highlights of the book because it was so well written and a relationship that I have never read about before).

My biggest complaint was the fact that the ending was foreshadowed within an inch of it's life leaving no wow factor. I would have preferred a gradual reveal to keep the reader interested.

It's hard to write this review without giving too much away. SPOILER BELOW ........................
The whole premise of the book is about two babies being switched at birth and being raised in two very different families. I found the premise interesting but not plausible. As a mother I just couldn't believe that two women could just walk away from their children like they did. I could not fathom it ... especially when both women knew shortly after getting home from the hospital that they had the wrong babies! Just doesn't seem plausible to this mom.

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars


The Slowest Bookworm said...

Mm, interesting. I have this book on my wishlist. Although you've not given it a great rating, you've written enough to keep my interest so I think I'll keep it on my list ... for now :)

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Slowest Bookworm, there are so many factors that go into whether or not I like a book. When I read it, my mood, my expectations ..... I believe my FBM (Fairy Book Mother) who gave me the book liked it. Liking books is very subjective, isn't it? :)

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