Title: The Favorite Daughter
Author: Kaira Rouda
Publisher: Graydon House
Publish Date: May 21, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 2.0 / Community 3.68
From the author of Best Day Ever, another gripping novel of psychological suspense set in an upscale Southern California community, for fans of B.A. Paris and Shari Lapena.
The perfect home. The perfect family. The perfect lie.
Jane Harris lives in a sparkling home in an oceanfront gated community in Orange County. It’s a place that seems too beautiful to be touched by sadness. But exactly one year ago, Jane’s oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of anti-depressants, she’s barely even left the house. Now that’s all about to change.
It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary and three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days—and nights—at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl—dutiful and loving. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed?
The bonds between mothers and daughters, and husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together…
Told in first person narrative over the four days leading up to Jane’s younger daughter’s high school graduation. A year earlier, Jane’s older daughter fell off a cliff and drowned while visiting home from college. Since then, her younger daughter has become more distant. Jane’s husband is always working and their marriage is suffering. Jane has a plan to regain control. She uses manipulation to try and get her family life back to the way she wants it.
Jane is incredibly unlikable. She’s a sociopath with narcissistic personality disorder. She manipulates and lies to get her way. At first, I was intrigued by the first person narrative, but Jane was so annoying, I couldn’t get into the story. I enjoy unreliable characters, but Jane’s delusional personality was hard to take.
As for the plot, it was too predictable. I was expecting a twisty story, but this one was easy to guess in the first several pages. If this book is on your reading list, I recommend borrowing it rather than buying it. Best for readers who enjoy a heavy dose of crazy and don’t mind a predictable thriller.
I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.
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