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Yes, My Darling Daughter

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  1,071 ratings  ·  223 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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42nd out of 139 books — 229 voters
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCannHeroic Measures by Jill CimentYes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret LeroyWhat I Thought I Knew by Alice Eve CohenA Pearl In the Storm by Tori Murden McClure
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3rd out of 25 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,583)
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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
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

Set in London and Ireland, Yes, My Darling Daughter has all those elements, which can hold the reader's interest till the end. Grace, a single mother of four-year-old Sylvie, works in flower shop in London. Her daughter is not like any other child. She acts beyond her age and seems to know something which is the beyond the understanding of Grace.

When Sylvie starts to get mean with her playmates and also has frequent tantrums, along with sporadic panic attacks, Grace doesn't know how to deal with
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
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.
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

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
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
K Kelley
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Leslie Lindsay
I just read this book for the *second* time, a rarity even for me. Having travelled to Ireland in the last year (the setting of much of this book), I really wanted to re-experience not just the , but also the story, to sort of piece together the sense of place with the prose. I loved the book the first time around, and most definitely the second.

Leroy touches on the controversial--and interesting--topic of reincarnation. It's something I've been intrigued with for many years, sometimes as a ske
Elizabeth Kennedy
Loves the premise of this book along with the beautiful descriptive writing! Recommend
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.
Any Length
Not a book I can rave about. The plot idea was good. But I felt the book was way too long. Too much flowery filling in of pages. Too much self-questioning by the protagonist. To the point where I wanted to grab her and shake her. Way too much naming of flowers and what was blooming here and there and flowering here and there. Often I got the impression that those flowers couldn't have actually flowered at that time of year at all. Snowdrops and tulips and narcissi all flowering at the same time ...more
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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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
More about Margaret Leroy...
The Soldier's Wife Postcards from Berlin The River House: A Novel The English Girl The Drowning Girl

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