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**** - My Darling Daughter


MY DARLING DAUGHTER

JP DELANEY

****

The child you never knew

knows all your secrets . . .


Out of the blue, Susie Jukes is contacted on social media by Anna, the girl she gave up for adoption fifteen years ago.


But when they meet, Anna's home life sounds distinctly strange to Susie and her husband Gabe. And when Anna's adoptive parents seem to overreact to the fact she contacted them at all, Susie becomes convinced that Anna needs her help.


But is Anna's own behaviour simply what you'd expect from someone recovering from a traumatic childhood? Or are there other secrets at play here - secrets Susie has also been hiding for the last fifteen years?


MY REVIEW

****

I have previously read and enjoyed JP Delaney’s other books, ‘The Perfect Wife’ and ‘Playing Nice’ so I was excited to get the ARC for their latest book – ‘My Darling Daughter’. What I love about JP’s books is how well they write domestic drama and let events unfold in a really sinister way that leaves the reader feeling unsettled. I also have a problem with their books in that I have finished each of them in around 2 sittings – they are so engaging and difficult to put down!


My Darling Daughter was no different, although I must say it’s not a book I particularly enjoyed. We meet Susie and Gabe, who are initially living the fantasy life – they are both famous musicians with a lovely house and lots of money to go to exciting places. However, when 15-year-old Anna, Susie’s adopted child reaches out to come back into their life they start to see everything come slowly crashing down around them.


I am not a parent, and I don’t have any desires to have children so perhaps that is why I really didn’t understand some of the decisions that Susie made throughout the book. Anna is a horrendous character, and her flaws are revealed slowly and deliberately as the plot goes along. From stealing and lying to arson and domestic violence, Susie seems to forgive everything, whereas I was just screaming out for her to kick Anna out or at least show her the consequences of her actions. The plot is clever though and it shows how, with just a few small actions, your life can be ruined if you let the wrong person in your life. It also shows how the care system works and the pitfalls of this when it always takes the child’s viewpoint as truth.


The chapters alternate between Gabe, Susie and Sky (Anna) and this works well to keep up the pace and show events from different perspectives. There’s a lot of secrets being kept which aren’t revealed until later on and I must admit that I didn’t really relate or empathise to any of the characters. It did keep me engaged throughout though, even though I was frustrated with it I still wanted to know what would happen next.


Overall, My Darling Daughter is a chilling, if frustrating read, but nevertheless I could not put it down. Thank you to NetGalley & Quercus Books for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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