Sins of the Daughter

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As heartbreaking as it gets, this story, from the first page to the absolutely riveting ending, completely captivated this reader, – so much so that my lump in the throat test (a sure fire predictor of my very favorite reads) echoed feelings left both stirred and shaken.

A slowly building saga, this story follows three generations of women, each struggling with the challenges of building a life under the shifting weight of her own deeply fractured soul. As grief, memories, regrets, and trauma pool and coalesce, the author gracefully plays with both time and voice, creating a seamless and profound intimacy as the narrative shifts between third person POV for each woman in the past, and first person POV for the same in the present.

β€œRegret catches up with you and tries to pull you back, where is becomes just as suffocating as what every you were trying to escape.”

β€œ(She) might hate me, but she doesn’t have to hate herself.”

β€œI can feel myself slowly dissolving. I am good at leaving.”

For Ruth, a steely, repressed and unapproachable widow, mother, and grandmother (and indeed, daughter with her own sad history), a story tentatively unfolds which hints at suffocating grief, shame and anger – and what may or may not be tormentous self-blame.

For Lily, her daughter, an undefinable emptiness revealed to be emanating all the way down to her very core cannot help but bring a shape to this character that can only be seen as truly tragic (on-the-very-cusp of being unfathomable), revealing as piteous a mother (and a daughter) as one is likely to meet between the pages.

And finally we meet Danah, a Sociology PHD candidate, and daughter (frustrated granddaughter) seeking answers – embroiled and enslaved by an all-consuming search, so ironically critical to her own socially-tottering identity and self-worth.

As the mysteries embedded in the relationships surrounding this triumvirate of family dynamics are slowly and painstakingly revealed, it’s impossible not to be touched by these women, their journeys, and the ravages left by the shifting sands of time, as dramas as old and innate as motherhood, daughterhood themselves play out, regardless of the cost.

β€œWe are falling dominoes,each generation ruining the next, the sins of the daughter, and on and on and on”.

A brilliant read, and a beautiful one – this story is a harrowing reminder that love, and nurture, and their ineffaceable intertwining, from birth, though not perhaps always a given, are always, nonetheless, a necessity.

A great big thank you to the author and the publisher for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.


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