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Yes, My Darling Daughter
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Yes, My Darling Daughter

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  1,177 Ratings  ·  242 Reviews
Every once in a blue moon, a masterful writer dives into gothic waters and emerges with a novel thatlike Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, Minette Walters’s The Breaker, and Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend—simultaneously celebrates and transcends the tradition. Welcome Margaret Leroy to the clan.What’s the matter with Sylvie? Such a pretty girl. Four years old; well loved by h ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 14th 2009 by Sarah Crichton Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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44th out of 176 books — 250 voters
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Oprah's 25 Books You Can't Put Down
3rd out of 25 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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May 28, 2009 Karla rated it really liked it
I love this supernatural mystery set in England! I was literally rivited by the story of a single mother named Grace whose four year old daughter is not quite normal. She never calls her mother "mum", makes strange comments about living in some other place, and is expelled from preschool because she is uncontrollable. You truly feel for Grace, who is beside herself with worry and fear. She finds an unorthodox psychologist who is convinced that Sylvie is reliving a past life, one where a terrible ...more
May 11, 2009 Penelope rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jodi Picoult readers.
Shelves: fiction
I throughly enjoyed this book. It was a fascinating story which drew you in and kept you wondering till the very end. It wasn't quite what I expected but I found it to be absorbing and a pleasure to read.
May 29, 2009 mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: brit-fic, library
I really want to give this three-and-a-half stars. The beginning --- in fact the first three-quarters of the book --- was gorgeous. The ending was so weak and pallid compared with it that I ended up being grievously disappointed.

Still, I think I'll seek out Leroy's other two novels. Her writing style in this one was masterful.
Feb 20, 2010 Aja rated it really liked it
This is a noiry romantic mystery (think Rebecca). The mood and the feeling of the book are very well developed. Even in the description of the most mundane activities you feel the darkness and mystery surrounding the plot and characters. Margaret Leroy does creepy very well.

The only aspect I thought it lacked was the apex of the action, where the resolution and finale seemed a little predictable.
Dec 05, 2009 Gloria rated it it was amazing
Set in both England and Ireland, this is a chilling thriller about a little girl who may not be what you think she is at first. This is quite eerie and gothically dark in parts, but is also rather warm in the sense that it is about a young, un-wed mother who is struggling to be a great mum. Includes reincarnation and murder though no graphic violence.
Aug 15, 2009 Barb rated it really liked it
This was a suprisingly enjoyable book for me and I found myself not wanting to put it down. I am an anglophile and love Ireland,too, and having this story set in both venues was great. The little 3 year old -Sylvie - was easy to have feelings for and her name was perfect for what I pictured as a waif of a pale, blonde child with a very serious demeanor. Her poor mother - who was not called Mum by Sylvie's choice -worked tirelessly to free her daughter of the memories in her mind that weren't her ...more
Jul 29, 2009 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it's very good,a bit of a mysteryas to why the little girl was frightened of water and why she was acting as she have to keep reading to find out why it is.look forward to reading more of her books
Robin Rountree
Aug 03, 2009 Robin Rountree rated it liked it
Shelves: pastreads
I really enjoyed this book...a nice break after reading a book about terminal illness. Not a ton of twists and turns in the plot, but enough suspense to keep me interested, and the supernatural angle was a nice change.

Jul 30, 2009 Crystal rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 17, 2010 Jody rated it liked it
A very good book, but I couldn't bring myself to give it more than 3 stars. The best part of this book was how it was written - very eloquent, almost poetic in the author's choice of words. It was a book that I had a hard time putting down, because I kept wanting to see where it was going to go next. I figured out the ending too early on, and felt that the ending was kind of weak, but at the same time satisfying. I really did enjoy this book and would recommend it, as it's a very fast read and i ...more
Sep 06, 2009 Paula rated it really liked it
Very well written book that keeps you turning the pages to see what will happen.

Sylvie is a 3 year who goes into hysterics when water is splashed on her, calls her Mom by her given name Grace in stead of Mum (English author) and tells Grace that she isn't really her family, that her family lives somewhere else. Grace who is a single parent is determined to get to the bottom of this peculiar behavior and finally settles on a psychologist who deals in the paranormal.
Aug 03, 2009 Deb rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this one down... Sylvie is a very difficult 3 year old. Her mother Grace, a single mom, is trying to keep it together but just doesn't know what to do. A child psychologist decides that nothing is really wrong. At her wits end she contacts Adam Winters, a pschologist who thinks Sylvie's issues could be due to problems in a past life... Loved it!
Aug 25, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book! I was a bit apprehensive going into it because it is on Oprah's list and I find her books very sad and morbid so very often but this is a gem. I was drawn in from the first chapter. The way that Sylvie talked to her mother, Grace, made her seem like such an old soul. I love the story and the images of reincarnation as a way to put a finalization to someone's life. Just a great read.
Feb 27, 2010 DaisyChains rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book five stars not necessarily for its plot or craftwork - although these were good - but for its sheer readability. I bought it on Sat afternoon and had finished it by Sun evening - I could not put it down! Thoroughly recommend it.
Sep 10, 2009 Kelly rated it liked it
The intriguing plot of Yes, My Darling Daughter becomes more supernatural as it progresses. My heart ached for Grace, a struggling single mom, and Sylvie, Grace's troubled daughter. And I couldn't help at times feeling like I was reading a Daphne du Maurier novel, particularly Rebecca, which I just read for the first time earlier this year.
K Kelley
Sep 08, 2009 K Kelley rated it really liked it
Shelves: irish
I read a good review of this book in some magazine and once I found out it took place in Ireland I knew had to read it. Interesting story line; can a child remember her past life? Sylvie the girl in the story is very strange w/odd behaviors and memories. Some people think she could be autistic but her mother knows something else is going on. They end up learning about a professor who investigates past lives in children and he takes on the case. They end up traveling to Ireland to "solve" the mys ...more
Sep 09, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
A little 4 year old girl puzzles her single mom when she only calls her by her first name and frequently says that this is not her life. Her mom, Grace starts to think that her daughter is remembering a past life and finds a professor that agrees with her theory. They travel to a coast where the little girl is drawn and find a case of an unsolved murder of a mother and daughter. You are lead to believe that the little girl is the re-incarnate of the girl that died and she miraclously lets go of ...more
Sep 22, 2009 Diane rated it really liked it
Grace is a single mom, who works in a flower shop full time, and spends her free time with Sylvie, her sweet little four year old daughter. The two live a simple life, in a not so great part of London, but their life seems happy enough. All seems perfectly normal with Sylvie until she begins having problems in preschool. She has outbursts, exhibits an extreme fear of water, and says odd things to her playmates. She also refuses to call her mother “mum”, and always called her “Grace” instead. She ...more
Oct 19, 2009 Michele rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, paranormal
I hadn't heard of this book or author when a friend loaned me this novel, am so glad she did! I was hooked from the first page, what a unique & interesting story line! I would definitely recommend it and will be looking for more from Ms. Leroy in the future.
Jan 30, 2016 Andrea rated it really liked it
This was a story about a mother trying to connect with her daughter. The daughter has visions of a past life and with the mother's help as well as the help of a psychologist they are able to figure out the mystery. T really enjoyed this book as well as the setting in England and in Ireland. The characters were also easy to relate to.
Feb 01, 2010 zenbren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
The Drowning Girl is an absorbing tale-so much so that I stayed up to 3am to finish it. The child Sylvie is very believable and the change in calling her Mum Grace to Mom is satisfying and reassuring when it comes towards the end of the book. The dealing with reincarnation is handled sensitvely and leaves the reader wanting more. However the end game is a bit too predictable with the revealing of Marcus as the villian. His resemblance to Dominic , THE CHILD'S FATHER AND HER MOTHER'S OLDER MARRIE ...more
Feb 22, 2010 Jan rated it really liked it
This book had a wonderful premise; right up my alley. The writing style is wonderful. Short chapters, describes a scene very well. Sometimes a little repetitive. Words that are'nt the norm like inchoate. Might
have been the author's new favorite word as it was repeated. The
child, Sylvie, had one too many tantrums for me. That would have been
fine if there was something interesting at the end of each tantrum.
But enough already! I guessed who the murderer was but it didn't ruin the book. In fact, th
Feb 27, 2010 Azalea rated it liked it
For more than half of the book, I was very intrigued by the mystery. But it got a little too convenient and obvious and I was starting to wonder if Grace was naive or stupid. Adam too. I felt like ANYONE would spot the twins thing and who the bad guy was from a mile away. Sylvie's acceptance of everything was also really abrupt. And why wasn't Grace more curious about what happens from here? Or why Sylvie was the one who was affected and if it happens to everyone or just a select few? I felt lik ...more
Mar 14, 2010 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I must admit, this is certainly not a book I would have picked up on my own. I won this book through Goodreads. I don't typically enjoy books about the paranormal, but I was immediately drawn into the plot of Yes, My Darling Daughter. The short chapters and intriguing plot line make it a quick read. Parts of it were frustrating and predictable, but overall, I'm happy to have discovered this book. I will certainly pick up books written by Leroy in the future.
Jul 06, 2010 Ari rated it it was ok
I thought the premise was interesting, but I had a hard time feeling any sort of empathy towards the main characters and the ending kind of wrapped itself up a bit too completely. That said, I did find myself reading the book really fast to find out the ending, so I did get kind of into the book... I just wouldn't recommend it.
When I saw “The Drowning Girl” by Margaret Leroy in my local Oxfam bookshop, I snapped it up. The question on the cover caught my attention - ”What if there was something deeply wrong with your child, and nobody believed you?”

Single mum Grace has a little daughter, Sylvie. As Sylvie grows up, Grace realises that she is “different” – she has emotional outbursts that leave them both utterly drained, she says odd things and she is completely terrified of water.

Professionals examine Sylvie and concl
I will say that I really enjoyed this book. I never would’ve picked it up had it not have been for my book club (as my friend Erin mentions in her blog: book club = awesome.) It really does set you up with books you’d never find otherwise.

Okay, back to the book. I found this story to be really intriguing and it really captured my attention. Some of my friends felt that the beginning moved slow but I actually preferred the beginning to the last 1/4 of the story. I felt that Leroy really built up
Nov 11, 2012 Kendra rated it liked it

Beautifully written. Though the main character is making some crazy choices to move the story along and it sometimes feels a bit forced.

Favorite passage:
We sit there quietly for a moment. The sun is coming out through the cloud, and the sea holds every color you can think of - turquoise in the shallows, giving back the sky color, and farther out a richer cobalt shade. There's a line of deeper blue where the sea meets the sky. A sense of the strangeness of what we are doing here surges through m
Jun 29, 2013 Feathersinthewater rated it liked it
I picked this up in a charity shop and thought it would be interesting as I'm really into psychological disorders in children. I thought Sylvie would have had autism or something similar - definitely wasn't expecting the eery and mysterious thought of reincarnation! I actually really enjoyed this, though the romantic moments with Adam were completely obvious and I felt that Grace was just being used.. The ending didn't give all the answers to the questions that seemed to pile up throughout the n ...more
Dale Harcombe
Three and a half stars. Sometimes blurbs on the back of a book can give a whole different idea of what a book is about as this one did. ’What if there was something deeply wrong with your child and nobody believed you?' That intrigued me. However it turns out to be not what I was thinking initially – but Grace’s almost four year old daughter remembering of a former life. While I do not in any way believe in reincarnation and the idea of past lives, I was still willing to suspend disbelief for th ...more
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I grew up in the New Forest. As a child I wrote elaborate fantasy stories that I never showed to anyone. But around age 12 I stopped writing, and didn't start again till my mid-twenties.

(from the Biography page of her website)

I went to Oxford to study music, at St. Hilda's College. In my twenties I tried all sorts of things - music therapy, play-leading with children with disabilities, work in a
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