February 11, 2012

Time to Read: Review of The Good Daughters

Since receiving my Kindle Touch, I've been enjoying reading so much more lately!  I have been able to use the library downloads to receive books in addition to my purchases.  Soon, I'll have my cover for it so I can take it places with me to read while waiting in line or for My Boys to finish up a practice or something.

As a result of all this reading, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on books that I've read.  Some may be glowing reviews, others may be a bit lackluster... all are my opinions and while I may enjoy (or dislike) a book, it's entirely possible it may not be something you will like (or you may love)... regardless, I hope you enjoy these posts as I make my way back into the world of reading novels!

For this first Time to Read post, I'd like to tell you a bit about The Good Daughters: A Novel by Joyce Maynard.  This is the first novel I've read by this author so, I can't compare it to others that have received very good reviews.  I may have to add her book, Labor Day: A Novel to my reading list after seeing some fabulous reviews of that one.

This book is told from the viewpoint of two girls who were born on the same day, in the same hospital in a small farming town in New Hampshire.  From early on in the story, I suspected that there was more to the relationship of these two families than was shared in the beginning.

The families could not have been more different - one a farming family with a long history of owning their land and working hard, the other family was constantly on the move as the father kept trying to find ways to "get rich quick". 

Each chapter is told from either of the 2 "birthday sisters" point of view.  Sometimes I had to read a few paragraphs to be certain which one I was reading about.  Their voices were similar even though they were living such different lives.

Each girl feels like they don't belong in the family they have been living with but has no idea why.  Ruth, the farming family's daughter, has a talent for art that no one seems to understand or appreciate.  Her father does his best to make her feel loved, while her mother is distant and always comparing her to Dana, the other birthday sister.

Dana struggles with the lack of stability as her family continues to go in search of the next best place.  Her brother is the only one she feels she can depend on as she grows up.  She eventually, finds a way to get to college and study farming and ends up back in New Hampshire.

They both seek out love as they grow older with varying degrees of success.  Ruth ends up marrying a man who loves her more than the world, but she just doesn't feel the same way about.  While Dana finds that she is attracted to women and finds love with a college professor. 

The two girls never developed a friendship as Ruth's mother insisted on visiting Dana's family every year.  They didn't even understand why these visits were so necessary. 

As the book comes to a close and the parents begin to pass away after very long lives, the truth comes out and both girls are not so surprised.  The truth seems apparent to the reader from the first few chapters, but it is not 100% clear until later in the book. 

Overall, I enjoyed the book and was interested to see what the final outcome was going to be. The story kept my interest, but I would have liked to see more individuality in the two girls points of view. 

Next time, I'll be sharing my thoughts on The Hunger Games - the first book in the series and and upcoming movie.

Note: the links to the books will take you to Amazon where you can find out more or make a purchase.  If you do purchase via these links, I will receive a small referral fee. 

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Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

what an interesting concept for a novel, even if the voices weren't quite fleshed out enough. I can't wait to hear what you think about The Hunger Games! I've heard such good things about it but haven't read it yet.

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