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The Good Daughter

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  84 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Shortlisted for the 2009 Melbourne Prize, Best Writing Award.

Fifteen-year-old Sabiha has a lot to deal with: her mother's mental health issues, her interfering aunt, her mother's new boyfriend, her live-in grandfather and his chess buddy, not to mention her arrogant cousin Adnan. They all want to marry her off, have her become a strict Muslim and speak Bosnian.

And Sabih

Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 4th 2009 (first published May 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Mate, Amra Pajalic's Aussie YA novel was such a good read.

I am always hesitant to compare novels but in this case I think a comparison is helpful to give you a good feel for the vibe and quality of the novel. When I think about The Good Daughter it is easy to compare it to Melina Marchetta's Looking for Alibrandi and Randa Abdel-Fattah's Ten Things I Hate About Me

Looking for Alibrandi (Screenplay of a Film) by Melina Marchetta Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah

It's not just because these novels also feature a non-Caucasian protagonist or a lively multi-cultural cast ~ it is the similarities
Feb 20, 2014 Tor rated it really liked it
The Good Daughter isn’t a one story novel. Fifteen-year-old Sabiha is growing up in Melbourne as a contemporary Australian teenager and as a Bosnian Muslim daughter.

The novel could be about that immigrant story and nothing else. That narrative arc would be sufficient for a well written, coming of age, young adult novel, which this book is. But I’m a greedy reader so I loved the fact that The Good Daughter took me somewhere else, led me into other darker places, without losing its core focus on i
Nicola Marsh
May 13, 2011 Nicola Marsh rated it really liked it
Raw, gritty, realistic multi-cultural YA set in my home city Melbourne.

Thoroughly enjoyed.
Jun 26, 2011 Steph rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to hear Amra speak at the Melbourne Wrtiers Festival in August 2010 and though I hadn't read her novel before attending her session, I made sure I raced out and bought it afterwards and am so glad I did as The Good Daughter afterwards as it's a really sharp and insightful read.

What interested me most about The Good Daughter was the way Amra Pajalic explores Sammie’s struggle between the traditional Bosnian-Muslim beliefs of her family whilst navigating adolescence in contempor
Aug 02, 2011 Vicky rated it liked it
I finished this book in two days. It is a simple story of a Bosnian refugee family in Melbourne. The main character is a young girl torn between two cultures and struggling with her identity. Maybe there have been more complex books published recently in Australia, such as ' The Slap',or 'Seven types of ambiguity' which touch the issues of the multiculturalism, youth belonging and separation. 'The good daughter,' is a very honest book. The author does not try to sugar-coat the way people feel an ...more
Here are five reasons why I did not like this book:

a.) Sabiha's family is from Bosnia. We know this because the word 'Bosnia' appears in every chapter about eighty times.
b.) Its pacing is like a rollercoaster. Everything's moving slowly and then, out of nowhere - boom.
c.) On that note -- re: the plot -- nothing was properly resolved.
d.) I feel like I still don't know anything about Sabiha, let alone the basics. I mean, does she consider herself Bosnian? Does she consider herself Australian? I'v
Lindsey Mcfarlane
May 12, 2014 Lindsey Mcfarlane rated it really liked it
Realistic enough to make me angry with the choices the young women are facing in this book. The characters are drawn lightly but sympathetically, with the fracture lines of a displaced community showing. The parents attempts to reconnect with Islam fail to give the teenagers a sense of identity, and their attempts at strictness seem to make their daughters liars without protecting them from sexual pressure or helping them excel at school I hated to hear about physical violence from teen bullies ...more
Hung Ngo
Dec 21, 2013 Hung Ngo rated it liked it
I started reading this book having noticed its popularity with some of the students at my library. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy it as much as I had hope.

The Good Daughter share some of the identity and cultural conflict themes found in Looking for Alibrandi and Does My Head Looks Big In This but failed to be as good a read. I had real problem with the story flow. I did not like most of the characters. While I empathise with the main character situation, I could not bring myself to like her. I
Wendy Orr
A very promising first novel, this is a great young adult read, and a fresh, excellent look at the cultural clash experienced by many migrant teens - in this case, fifteen-year old Sabiha, whose mother has recently decided to throw herself into regaining her Bosnian and Muslim heritage. Life is further complicated for Sabiha by her mother's mental illness, and by having to change schools. However, Sabiha's strength makes the book ultimately optimistic.
Book Bazaar
I enjoyed this story of an inner city teenager growing up. It had lots of issues surrounding friendships, sexuality, ethnic idenitity and particularly families and mental illness. A recommended read for 15year old girls.

Not the best book in this genre I have read, but definitely a worthy addition.
Tobi Evangelisti
martha's book club
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Amra Pajalic is an author and teacher. Her debut novel The Good Daughter (Text Publishing, 2009) won the 2009 Melbourne Prize for Literature's Civic Choice Award, and was a finalist in the 2009 Melbourne Prize for Literature Best Writing Award. Prior to publication it was shortlisted in the 2007 Victorian Premier's Awards for Best Unpublished Manuscript. She is also author of a novel for children ...more
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