Saturday, November 22, 2014

Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

In Dear Daughter, Jane Jenkins was convicted of murdering her mother but through a technicality, she was freed from prison after 10 years. Now she is on the hunt to find the person who killed her mother. 

Unlike other books that I have read, what I enjoyed about this book was that all the characters were memorable but the kind of characters that you wouldn’t like to read about in a novel. Jane’s mom seems to come from a world of reality shows yet when Jane goes back to her mother’s hometown, there seems to be a past that she does not know about. 

Jane seems to be a sleuth in this story as she attempts to track down the killer although we are wondering if Jane did in fact kill her mother. She has to disguise herself in order to track down the killer since Jane is not the most popular woman in the world. I guess if you wanted to compare her to someone in Hollywood, then it would be Lindsey Lohan. 

The characters in the story seem to be built from a reality show series that I wouldn’t like to watch but it kept the story moving for me in any case. I thought it made the characters even more unlikeable as the story moved along. The movement was very slow in the beginning and the story seemed to move at a faster pace during the second part of the book. 

There were a lot of things that I liked about this book. I enjoyed the blogs and the newspaper articles on Jane and how it revealed her as a character that I didn’t like. I also enjoyed the way the author was able to sum up the relationship with Jane and her mother when Jane found the letter in the security box. 

As far as the writing is concerned, it was very dynamic and the characters were quirky which brought out comparisons with Lorrie Moore, one of my favorite short story writers. As far as the ending was concerned, I didn’t have a problem with it because I happen to think that you can never predict the outcome of a trial. I would rather that it was unpredictable in this case. 

I would have liked to have seen more suspense and tension in the beginning of the story instead of waiting until the middle of it. All in all, I would still give this novel four stars based on the unlikeable characters and a quirky unique story. 

Ron Hummer

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