A sensational debut thriller featuring an unforgettable heroine who just might have murdered her mother.
Former "It Girl" Janie Jenkins is acerbic, whip smart, and fresh out of prison. Ten years ago, at the height of her glamour and fame, she was incarcerated for the murder of her mother, a philanthropist best known for her string of rich husbands. Now, released on a technicality, Janie chops off her trademark hair, determined to chase down the one lead she has about her mother's killer. The only problem? Janie doesn't know if she's the one she's looking for.
In an isolated South Dakota town whose secrets rival Janie's own, with the unwitting help of the locals, she pieces together a shocking picture of her mother's supposedly pristine past. On the run from the press, the police, and possibly even a murderer, Janie is forced to choose between the anonymity she craves and the truth she so desperately needs.
A gripping debut novel, Dear Daughter follows every twist and turn as Janie unravels the mystery of what happened the night her mother died - whatever the cost.
©2014 Elizabeth Little (P)2014 Penguin Audio
I was looking forward to this novel because of the great reviews it seemed to be getting everywhere. Someone (I think in People magazine) compared it to "Gone Girl" (clearly, someone who had not read Gone Girl).
There is very, very little here except one witty, cutting remark after another from the protagonist. And it gets old very, very quickly--particularly because there is absolutely nothing to back it up: no character development (the main character herself is totally unbelievable and it only gets worse with the slew of secondary people...most never progress past the stereotype); no verisimilitude (The plot is based on this girl's quest for her mother's killer. She's released from prison after serving 10 years for the murder...and immediately follows the most implausible of leads EVER -- and I mean EVER -- and, of course, because this book is awful, the lead pans off); no resolution (you keep waiting for some twist to happen...but, no...it's just one runaway train of a plot); no talent (sorry, Ms. Little).
Perhaps if I had not been expecting so much (or if I was a 16-year-old looking for a very light 'mystery' to read on the beach), I would have given it three stars. As it was, I had to force myself to finish it.
The narrator compounds the issue. I found her voice grating and her never-changing inflection (perhaps unavoidable because she had nothing to work on) makes the lines seem even triter than they are.
I read some reviews that this book was similar to Gone Girl. Whoever said that must have been confused. This was a painful read for me. Too many characters, no in depth story line, and the main character was shallow. Once you get the general story line of this book, that is as far as it goes. I felt like I was waiting for it to get good and it never did. It also seemed like you never really get into the characters which got confusing. I would not recommend this book - it's a very slow and boring read.
Let’s get this out of the way - there is no one to like in this book. If you’re the type who needs to be able to invite characters over for dinner, this is not the book for you. Jane is so full of hate and contempt that she becomes funny in a way. At least she spreads her vitriol far and wide by equally despising her own celebrity class as well as those poor just-gettin’-by souls in fly-over states. Seriously; any spark of personality or just plain usefulness is crushed under the weight of that attitude; all of it bad. She’s a tough narrator to stick with, but I did and mostly I was gratified.
Some of the aspects of the book were inventive enough, but the solution to who murdered Jane’s mom was a bit Scooby Doo - you can picture tearing off a mask so totally. If you believe in karma, the wages of sin, Murphy’s Law or any similar claptrap, Jane’s ultimate fate will satisfy you, but even for me it was pretty good.
Jane’s basic story is told in the first person, but there are interruptions from CNN, TMZ and a blogger named Trace. All of these are done with musical intros and outros and a male narrator takes over. At first it was jarring and somewhat annoying, but overall I think it was a great way to take advantage of the medium. Giving us each and every sound of text messages coming through was a bit much though.
Enjoyed the book just missed the readers "need to want more" till the very end.
Somewhat hard to follow, but that could have been due to my tuning in and out at times from the slow movement of the book.
Good concept though
Disliked the narrator, Tana French gave it a good review which surprises me now having "read" it. I was expecting a more complex plot and less adolescent characters.
Love the whole thing, narration, plot, mystery, all of it… And then, felt like I got hit with a frying pan on the very last page. I hope the author realizes her grave mistake.
A different narrator
The story itself was ok - nothing special.
The narrator put more effort than necessary in being snotty and spoiled. I hated the "valley girl" sound. I probably should've have read this book instead of choosing to listen to it during my commutes.
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