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Isabel's Daughter

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  796 ratings  ·  106 reviews
From the author of Bread Alone comes an intimate tale of a woman -- given up at birth -- piecing together her mother's identity

After a childhood spent in an institution and a series of foster homes, Avery James has trained herself not to wonder about the mother who gave her up. But her safe, predictable life changes one night at a party in the home of a wealthy Santa Fe ar
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Hardcover, 400 pages
Published June 17th 2003 by William Morrow (first published January 1st 2003)
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22nd out of 23 books — 4 voters


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K. East
I've now read three books by this author. While I enjoy her characters and their development throughout each novel,each book ends not with a bang but a whimper. The characters seem very realistic as they meander through the trials in their lives, but they never really seem to arrive. Perhaps the books feel too much like real life, to me, and not enough like focused fiction. I'm not really sure what point, if any, the author had in mind to show when she started these novels. They feel more like c ...more
Denise
This is a facinating story but frustrating to me to some extent. Avery is her own worse enemy - always moving on rather than embracing closeness with others. It is a great book for a foody who is also interested in human emotions, every scene is sprinkled with great references to southwest cuisine and the herbs and spices of the American desert. I felt the author did a good job embroidering the story with complexity and contraditions as Avery tries to find out more about her illusive late mother ...more
J Kropa
I don't usually like books about teenagers, but I found myself so captivated by this book that I read right through these years and found myself captivated. The author just drew me in, and I found it a hard book to put down. I liked the description of this area of the country, and discussions about where fabric art fits into the general scheme of the art world. I worried it could have been a depressing book about losses, but instead found it a book about surviving losses, even surviving the know ...more
Kelsey Stewart
After I read this book I wanted to move to Santa Fe, wear lots of turquoise jewelry, unearth my natural talent in painting watercolors, and only cook authentic Latin American dishes for the rest of my life. In reality, I hate hot climates and the poisonous creatures that inhabit them. But Hendricks made me forget all of that in an instant, and I thank you for that Miss Judith.
Toni
"your absence has gone through me like a thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color"-w.s.merwin and the opening line of the book- "the first time I saw my mother was the night she died. The second time was a party in Santa Fe" --Together ,these two quotes tell the story. It grabbed me and kept me interested. That is all that you can ask of a book.
Janice
set in New Mexico, my second favorite place in all the world ... I posted an entry on my book blog
http://blogdelivre.blogspot.com

next I bought another of her books, Laws of Harmony
Becky Giovagnoni
Good writing, but the plot is moderately depressing. And there is a distinct lack of closure in one major storyline which left me wishing for a more definitive ending.
Bookfanatic
A captivating tale of a young woman searching for the mother she never knew and in the process learning more not only about her mother, now deceased, but more about herself. The book starts off great. The opening line will grab you. "The first time I saw my mother was the night she died. The second time was at a party in Santa Fe."
The characters are real, the setting in New Mexico is very vivid. You really get a sense of the area.

Avery, who was raised in foster homes, not surprisingly doesn't a
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bookczuk
This book had one of the best opening lines I've run across: "The first time I saw my mother was the night she died. The second time was at a party in Santa Fe." I must say that it, and the quote of W.S Merwin ("Your absence has gone through me like thread through a needle, Everything I do is stitched with its color") perked up my interest, attention, and curiosity. The book was satisfying enough, soothing my soul after a spate of deep, psychologically chilling mysteries. Avery's search for hers ...more
Linda Day
Amazon had this at Five Stars, but I think 3.5 is closer to my thinking. Although I liked the book, I did not love it; I could lay it down; But found I was quickly engaged when I came back to it.

It is a story about a girl, orphaned at birth and left in the basement of a foundling home. Discovered "just in the nick of time", she grows there until she is orphaned again when her best friend runs away. Later the cook who has befriended her, dies, and this time Avery James has had enough ! She flees
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Sue
Avery is a determined, sometimes outspoken, and intelligent young woman. We first meet her when she is in her mid-twenties, working for a catering company. Out of the blue, she sees a portrait which can only be of her mother... whom she never met.

This starts Avery on a journey into the past, where she was brought up in a children's home before running away at thirteen. As she thinks about people in the past, and learns more about her mother and her various friends, she is gradually able to acce
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MyGoodBookshelf
(This review also appears on Amazon.co.uk)

I really enjoyed Kendrick's other novel `The Baker's Apprentice' and am pleased to report that `Isabel's Daughter' is also a satisfying read, though it didn't quite grab my attention in the same way. This is the sort of novel you can keep dipping in and out of- in fact I found I had to whilst reading as the novel became quite flat in places.

Told in flashbacks in parts, the novel concentrates on Avery James, a `foundling' who was abandoned by her mother i
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Julie Dickerson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan
I had not read Judi Hendricks' other books, although I had read a lot about them. I recently found this book and since it takes place in New Mexico I decided to read it. The author did not let me down in her sense of place. She describes many locations in New Mexico and makes the enchanting ambiance a part of the story. I have been in many of the galleries in Santa Fe and I could just feel that presence in the story.


The emotional tale centers around Avery James, named for the central Texas jewe
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Louise
An exceptionally engaging second novel by Judith Hendricks! I think we have a GREAT new up and coming authoress. I was lost in this story from beginning to end.

From back cover:

"The first time I saw my mother was the night she died. The second time was at a party in Santa Fe.

After a childhood spent in an institution and a series of foster homes, Avery James has trained herself not to wonder about the mother who gave her up. But her safe, predictable life changes one night when she stumbles upon t
...more
Tanisha Vishnoi
Its kind of a slow book.. But still interesting..It explains a lot about the feelings of the people who have lost their close ones..Specially a girl who does not know about her parents.. she travels city -to-city ..She does not shows her true feelings to anybody because she thinks that when her parents doesn't want her then she does not have any importance in anybody else's life..She went to another city and people started recognizing her as Isabel..She resembles Isabel a lot who was her mother ...more
Jean
This is a short review! I loved this book! The story is facinating, well written, well edited and so much worth the read! The opening line; "The first time I saw my mother was the night she died. The second time was at a party in Santa Fe," grabbed my attention and held it through the entire story. The characters were interesting, facinating and the New Mexico setting with details had me wanting to visit there in the worst way! A book to savor!
Elaine
I bought this book for $1 at my local used book store a few years ago and finally picked it up to read. It was slow at first and I almost put it aside but about one quarter of the way through I was hooked. The main character, Avery seems a bit too angry at times and detached from most relationships. This is because she was given up by her birth mom, put in an orphanage and was picked on by classmates for most of her first 18 years. There were a few people who loved her unconditionally but she co ...more
penelopewanders
I read this book several years ago, in January 2004 and enjoyed it so much that I have now made it into a ring which is travelling around the world.

Feb 2009 Am now rereading it for possible use with a class. This is still a terrific book, although I don't think the young man in my class will appreciate it so much and it would be the third book with a female main character ...I would definitely do with this with another group at some point.

October 2014... Still haven't used it with a class, but
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Jeanne
This was a pretty good "light" book for the spring/early summer. During finals from school and traveling around after, it definitely kept my attention!
This book was also good about bringing my attention to how much culture the New Mexico area has, it was kinda undiscovered in my opinion.
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Above ^ is what I originally wrote in my review and I only gave it 3 stars then, but
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Nancy Hartill
This was the first Judi Hendricks book I read and loved the setting in Santa Fe and how this abandoned girl learns about her mother and strikes up a relationship with the same man her mother was involved with before she died. Judi writes about women who start new lives. I really like this book.
Heidi
Isabel's Daughter is the first of Judith R. Hendricks' books that I have had the pleasure of reading and it inspired to read all of them. I'm admitting a weakness - I bought this book based on wholly the title. My own child being named Isabel - well, you get my reasoning...

...and I was so pleasantly surprised to discover that the story takes place in my homeland - Northern New Mexico.

This was an easy read - much as I dislike these types of novels - only a few hours of leisurely reading, but I f
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Dana
Avery James was a foundling. Brought up in institutions and foster homes she leaves at the age of 13 to find her own way. At first she stumbles upon Cassie who teaches her about herbs and healing.

She eventually finds her way to Sante Fe where she is an assistant to a caterer. Working at a wealthy art dealer's party she comes upon a painting of a woman who is her mirror image. Avery has found her mother. What follows is a search. Her mother died in a tragic accident 8 years ago. Avery initially d
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Helen
Isabel's Daughter
1. Best 1st sentence
"The first time I saw my mother was the night she died. The second time was at a party in Santa Fe."

2. Best Setting
New Mexico. Mostly Santa Fe area, but other places in New Mexico, also.


I keep this book just to read when I need a soft read. The plot has a bit of "chick-lit" thing going, but oh my, the setting just makes me happy. New Mexico, and Santa Fe specifically, are so perfectly written.
I can't say I remember the actual plot, but I remember t
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Angie
This book is beautifully written. The first words in the book are "The first time I saw my mother was the night she died. The second time was at a party in Santa Fe". This had me hooked from the beginning to understand what this meant. As a baby the main character Avery James was abandoned by her mother and she goes to live in an orphanage. The book is about her life and how she finds herself and also who her mother was. The setting of the story is in Colorado and New Mexico There is fun food re ...more
Molly Ringle
This was one of those books that makes me long to be in its setting - namely, Santa Fe, New Mexico. The cuisine alone (which features prominently) would be mouth-watering enough, but I also greatly enjoyed the themes of family secrets, various types of art, and just a whiff of the supernatural. Haunting and sometimes funny and full of luscious sensory details.

Also, Hendricks gets mega-bonus points for actually emailing me back personally when I dropped her a line to say I liked her books--and fo
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Stephanie
This story is about a girl who grew up never knowing who her mother or father was. She was left in the basement of a group home as a baby. It takes you on an adventure with her as she find out who her mother was purely as an accident. It takes place in new mexico and because the main character loves to cook authentic mexican food, I have been craving it ever since! I like it because it was honest and real. It wasn't tied up in pretty bows and wrapped up nicely, it was raw. There is language in i ...more
Margaret
As Avery goes on the journey to find her mother, she takes the reader right along with her. What I admired most about her was the fact that she was a strong woman who didn't need a male companion to prop her up. Avery could have gone running back to her first love when he reappeared in her life many years after their high school romance, but she knew what she had do to come to terms with her own past first. The ending left me knowing that Avery was content and settled and I hope that she is now ...more
Angela
I couldn't put this book down. One of the critic comments on the cover said it reminded them of Barbara Kingsolver and I totally agree. Of her earlier stuff that I really enjoyed. I loved every character in this book and loved how the story just unfolded. I felt like I was right there for each part of Avrey's life as she moved closer and closer to finding out about her mother and herself. Loved it!
Rachel (Sfogs)
This book never fully hooked me in, the story was good, though it felt so far away.
Loved the ending, she will make Cassie proud.
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avery's eyes 4 3 Aug 26, 2014 12:07PM  
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Judi sees life as a never-ending journey of creative expression and so is accustomed to starting off in one direction and ending up somewhere completely unexpected - or going in five directions at once. In her daily life, she's a contract designer whose projects range from developing data collection tools for the pharmaceutical research industry to designing print ads. In her evening and weekend l ...more
More about Judi Hendricks...
Bread Alone (Bread Alone, #1) The Baker's Apprentice  (Bread Alone, #2) The Laws of Harmony Of Love and Life: Precious Time / Something Wild / Bread Alone Silver Clay Keepsakes: Family-Friendly Projects

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