Her Mother's Daughter

Narrated by: Caroline Lennon
Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

1980: Josephine flees her home in Ireland to start a new life in London - but can't leave her traumatic childhood behind. 

Seventeen years and two children later, her sister calls: their mother is dying and wants to see Josephine. It's a summons she can't refuse.... 

1997: Ten-year-old Clare can't wait for the summer holidays, when she will meet her grandparents in Ireland for the first time. She hopes this trip will put an end to her mum's dark moods - and drinking. But family secrets can't stay buried forever, and following revelations in Ireland, everything starts to unravel. Have Josephine and her daughter passed the point of no return?

©2018 Alice Fitzgerald (P)2018 Oakhill Publishing

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Read

This was written from the perspective of 10 year old Claire and her mother Josephine. The story demonstrates how the childhood experiences of abuse Josephine endured seeped out into her life damaging all it comes in contact with. Josephine uses alcohol to mask her pain. The effect is like a ‘domino’ rolling forward to affect her childrens' lives.
Claire’s story is hard trying to gauge her mother’s moods while still a child.
Josephine’s life experiences are very difficult to read with her pain and suffering unacknowledged. Josephine living with the abuse plus the fact that she has no experience of love and care as a child means she cannot show love and care for her children. Thus the cycle continues.
This is a very dark book in parts and not for everyone as it may trigger some with similar life experiences.
The narrative by Caroline Lennon was wonderful.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Past, but not forgotten.

I have just listened to the closing passages of this book and I'm conflicted as to how to review it. There was a lot to commend, particularly the images of Ireland in the 1980s and of the life of an Irish girl, newly arrived to London. The narrative also works well, spoken from the perspective of Josephine, born and raised in Ireland, and her daughter, Clare, who seems mature beyond her years at times.
Unfortunately I was not a fan of the narrator, who had a very twee voice, suitable possibly for the child, but not for her angry mother. And inevitably, my feelings about the book are going to be affected by the ending, as that is currently uppermost in my mind - I just listened to a book that seemed to have two endings and I had just come to terms with the first, when I was presented with a second. I'm left wondering which is true.

It was tragic how the incident that Josephine ran from in Ireland, followed her through life and affected the way she interacted with her children. I really felt for them. Clare does an amazing job of protecting her younger brother, Thomas, from their mother's rages and dark moods. Michael, their father, was a great dad, but completely out of his depth.

As a debut novel this was a worthwhile read and I would certainly read this author again.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Exquisite

An extremely poignant tale, told from the two perspectives of mother and daughter. I thought this was a very clever and unusual concept. It was wonderfully uplifting to hear the thoughts of a child and also, at times, desperately heart breaking. Clare's insights stop the story from being bleak, otherwise Josephine's tale would be altogether too tragic to cope with. Exquisitely narrated by Caroline Lennon, this is a book that will stay in my mind for a long, long time. 5 stars and highly recommended from me.