Book Review: Dear Daughter By Elizabeth Little

“Beautiful women - they think they can get away with anything.”

― Elizabeth Little, Dear Daughter

The publication of Elizabeth Little's most recent book, "Dear Daughter," has led to both enormous success and widespread acclaim for her work. She has already written a few pieces of nonfiction before this book. Her ability to get praise from critics was aided by the novel Dear Daughter. It later appeared on the Los Angeles Times list of best-selling books as a bestseller. The book has been published all around the world and is also a Macavity and Barry Award nominee for Best First Book. The CWA included it on one of its longlists for the John Creasy Dagger. The well-known book also took up the Critics' Strand Award for Best Debut Novel.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

LA IT girl Janie Jenkins has it all. The looks, the brains, the connections. The criminal record.

Ten years ago, in a trial that transfixed America, Janie was convicted of murdering her mother. Now she's been released on a technicality she's determined to unravel the mystery of her mother's last words, words that send her to a tiny town in the very back of beyond. But with the whole of America's media on her tail, convinced she's literally got away with murder, she has to do everything she can to throw her pursuers off the scent.

She knows she really didn't like her mother. Could she have killed her?

My reaction to the book...

I was quite thrilled to read this novel after hearing so many positive things about it. It came highly recommended by Entertainment Weekly. I read some positive feedback. My attention was peaked by the description. It kept my attention to the very end... However, it never quite came together. About two-thirds of the way through the novel, I gave up attempting to distinguish between the numerous identical characters since I couldn't warm up to any of them, especially the tedious, pampered protagonist Janie.  Despite spending ten years behind bars, she is still sassy, constantly saying the wrong thing at the wrong moment, and putting herself in trouble for no obvious cause.

This novel had a lot of room to grow, but it was in dire need of an editor who would have drawn a story line and encouraged the author to keep to it. The personalities and motivations of the characters were also inconsistent. Additionally, I got the vibe that the author merely "had insights" without really considering how to actualize them.  However, there is nothing profound or inspiring in this.

The primary character struck me as being uncharismatic as well. The supporting cast's characters lack depth. The story's events are improbable. And the conclusion is just absurd. Not exactly the makings of an interesting read. It's unbelievably dull! I'm not sure whether I'll suggest this to other book readers, but this one is worthy of nothing more. Despite my naïve belief that it had to improve at some point, it actually became worse as I forced myself to finish it. There was no such result. Too many unimportant characters in a monotonous, muddled narrative.

My Overall Rating: ⭐

"You can get away with anything if you wear great clothes, throw great parties, and give money to kids with cleft palates.”

This, I believe, is true for some, particularly those who are powerful and have committed a crime. Some use their powers to escape their misdeeds, while others are readily judged depending on their current status.

Where to buy this book...


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