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Juno's Daughters

3.13 of 5 stars 3.13  ·  rating details  ·  183 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Love takes center stage when a single mother and her teenage daughters play Juno, Iris and Ceres in a summer production of "The Tempest."
Jenny Alexander has sought refuge from a troubled past on a tiny, verdant island, off the coast of Washington state. Surrounded by the cold water of the Puget Sound, she does her best to raise her girls, innocent Frankie, and thrill-see
ebook, 336 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by Plume Books (first published December 9th 2010)
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Two stars is such a sad little rating, but I really can't justify more. The main character, Jenny is a 42-year old single mom of 2 teenage daughters but her dialog and actions are annoyingly immature. There is little character development and the "love story" doesn't make any sense. How are they possibly in love after looking at each other a few times? I felt no investment into their lives. I finished it only because I kept telling myself "it has to get better". I was rewarded with slightly bett ...more
This was written by a local author, which is why I bought it. Took me a while to read it because I couldn't seem to get invested in the characters, their lives, or what happened to them. I feel like the author just scratched the surface of these characters and I think I would have enjoyed it much more had I really gotten to know them. Also, referring to the actors by the names of their characters in the play was a little odd and confusing, especially when at the end of the book (and the end of s ...more
I rarely stop reading a book but this one just couldn't keep my attention and was really annoying. The mother, Jenny, is absolutely ridiculous. I don't want to go into spoilerland but a mother should have stronger reactions to an older man kissing her early teen daughter than punching him in the arm. Oh and the love triangle between mother, other daughter, and man was absurd. The writing was choppy and all over the place. I'm glad I didn't waste my money on this. Yup I didn't finish it so I gues ...more
This book was really awful -- I wouldn't have bothered to finish it had I not needed to for my reading challenge. Following all the characters was well nigh impossible. The protagonist's romance was not developed at all -- they go from exchanging glances to being in love. The daughters were just annoying. And writing a chapter in the form of a play -- in the middle of the book -- put me over the edge. All those folks who complain that the Fifty Shades trilogy is bad writing...THIS is bad writing ...more
Carly Thompson
I couldn't get into this novel. It was about the struggles of a 40 something single mother with two teenage daughters. The Shakespeare connection is that every summer there is a production of a Shakespeare play and professional actors come in for the major roles. I found the author's choice to refer to the actors by the name of the character he/she is portraying to be annoying. The main characters were not sympathetic or interesting enough to capture my attention.
Mary Kay
The two things that save this book are its location on a tiny, beautiful island off the coast of Washington State & the production of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" being performed. I find it hard to believe any mother would condone the (mis)behavior of this 17-year-old daughter as portrayed in JUNO'S DAUGHTERS.
I picked this one mostly for the location as it takes place in the San Juan Islands and involves a summer Shakespeare event both of which I have positive personal connections to. Before reading it, I thought with all these connections to the story, that it would surely be fun and good, but instead it was trite and didn't feel genuine at all.
Story was of a single mother who lived with her two daughters on the Island and the events around their collective participation in an annual Shakespeare pro
Not terrible, but not very good either ... I found it hard to sympathize with a woman who would compete with her teenage daughter for the attentions of a man.
Frank Snell
It is a soap opera about a single mom and two daughters. It is set on San Juan Island, and is only worth reading if you love San Juan Island.
I loathed the protagonist mother who was so narcissistic & couldn't even think of her daughters' needs.
Andrea at Reading Lark
Review Posted on Reading Lark 8/29/11:

A story that mimics the sea with its churning events and emotions that shift from tranquil to tumultuous....

Juno's Daughters has the perfect mixture for a great read - strong sense of place, well developed characters, and an intriguing plot. San Juan Island, off the coast of Washington State, holds a bit of magic for those of us who live in the mainland. I love visiting the islands and imagining that I fit into their
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 04, 2012 Doreen rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one, sorry
Recommended to Doreen by: saw it at the library or here, on Goodreads. I forget.
I'm sorry for the low rating. While the author OBVIOUSLY has talent, this first novel just misses its mark in too many ways. I realize that the author wants the reader to sympathize, and maybe even empathize, with the plight of a single mother raising two teenaged daughters. Unfortunately, the mother's words and actions simply don't touch my heart, nor my good sensibilities, In the book's final chapters, the mother begins to act and sound like a real mother, and the writing improves slightly. It ...more
Set in the Pacific Northwestern San Juan Islands, author Lise Saffran's "Juno's Daughter" is an immensely enriching novel, full of amazing characters, and a wonderful story. When a troupe comes into town, trying to bring Shakespeare's play "The Tempest" to life, Jenny Alexander's curiosity is piqued. There is no doubt that Andre, the young and charismatic actor who is part of the troupe, is definitely playing a big role in Jenny's interest in this play. But while this single mother of two teenag ...more
Jenny Alexander is raising her two teenaged daughters alone in the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound after leaving behind a troubled relationship on the mainland. She finds peace and solace in the arms of this close-knit community, but, alas, not much love...until, that is, a group of Shakespearean actors arrives for a summer production of The Tempest. A handsome actor in the troupe catches her eye, but also the eye of her thrill-seeking, bohemian daughter Lilly. Unfortunately, her naive younger d ...more
I enjoyed this book a lot. In part because I identified with the single mom coping with wonderful and challenging teenage daughters. Each of the daughters reminded me of my own relationship with my daughter during those years in different ways. And the painful process of letting go, of fully acknowledging the shift in even a close relationship where you will only know about a daughter what she decides to share. The recognition that while you can always be ready to "be there" for them, once they ...more
This was a piece of fluff, but a rather enjoyable one. It's about a single mom living on tiny San Juan island off the coast of Seattle with her two daughters, one on the brink of adulthood and the other perched at the edge of teendom.

The family's story is cleverly paralleled by Shakespeare's The Tempest, a play being produced on the island that summer in which the mother and her daughters all play minor parts.

It's a sweet and engaging story, and a lovely look inside life on a small, isolated is
Not the best book and I really can't recommend it to anyone. It was ok, light chick lit and the writing was just average in my mind. I've certainly read worse but it was all pretty basic,. I loved the setting of the book though, San Juan islands of Washongton state.

The biggest deal for me about this book is this was my 40th book in my 2014 challenge to read 40! I made it with just two hours to spare!
This lovely debut reads like a dream, the characters ever in action, the plot unfolding at a pleasingly zippy pace. Saffran does a great job of creating a fully-realized community on the San Juan Island of her imagination, and placing within that community believable characters who are flawed and compelling. I was particularly drawn in by Frankie, Jenny Alexander's youngest daughter. It is Frankie's decision towards the end of the book that brings together all the plot threads and forces Jenny t ...more
I really liked this book, with all the different relationship dynamics, mother/daughters, sisters, friends, future lovers, past lovers, wanna-be lovers it was both funny and heart-wrenching. Set on an Island in Puget Sound, Juno's Daughters follows single-mom Jenny raising her two teenage daughters, one a homebody, one a thrill-seeker. When the local theatre company hosts Shakespeares 'The Tempest', and actors from around the country appear in the play, Jenny and her daughters join in and play J ...more
Natasha Zaretsky
I started reading this novel on an afternoon train ride and was done with it by bedtime. The book tells the story of a single mother struggling to let go of her two teenage daughters while simultaneously reclaiming her own--long neglected--right to sexual passion. Set on the San Juan Islands, the writing beautifully evokes coastal life, while cleverly interspersing the plot of Shakespeare's play THE TEMPEST(the plot revolves in part around a local theater's production of the play). I loved the w ...more
Christine Costello
THIS WAS AN AWFUL BOOK. This book was so bad that I actually lost respect for the author. I found it disturbing that the mother and daughter were "sharing" a guy. very awkward, very not-okay
Cheri Ghan
Wonderful easy read. This coming-of-age story shares the frustrations and joys of watching teens grow to adulthood through the eyes of a single mom and curious crew of characters. Set in the lovely San Juan Island area, the story follows Jenny Alexander and her daughters against the backdrop of a nomad group of actors and their annual summer Shakespeare production. Vivid, enjoyable characters with scenes and references that appeal to many of us boomer types, I've already shared it with two frien ...more
Miko Lee
Happy to have just finished my dear friend Lise's latest novel. What a treat. Focused on a single mom and her two teenaged daughters who become immersed in The Tempest when a Shakespeare troupe arrives to their tiny island outside of Seattle. All three are cast in the play where drama ensues as mom and daughter vie for the same handsome New York actor playing one of the clowns. Portrait of the single hippy mom who struggles to make ends meet is lovingly rendered. Several moments in the book I th ...more
I loved this book. I just loved the romantic play between the two main characters and the descriptions about the blossoming love affair. I felt the remarks about kids growing up and becoming their own people was bittersweet. It's so true how you can't hold them back but you have to just watch them and hope they don't make too many mistakes. This mother was a little more lenient than I would be with my kids but everyone on the island seemed to be this way. I loved the ending and would love to see ...more
I thought this book was very well written and had many good elements to it, I believe this book has the potential to really touch women who are in the same position as the main character, but for me, A 20 year old I don't think it gives off the same effect. Its funny because I'm from the Seattle area and I could tell the author wasn't from around here when she called the purse a "pocketbook". Nobody says that around here. Overall I'd recommend it to women who are around late thirties or with tee ...more
Jennie Fitz
The biggest lure this book provided for me was the location, San Juan island, WA. This is where I honeymooned and I did enjoy the island references, even the ones about those pesky tourists on the rented scooter cars. :) it was a nice story, could easily become a lifetime for woman movie. Just when I thought the story was winding down, I was surprised to see there were over 100 pages left which lead us to a moving conclusion where the town comes together.
Oct 21, 2010 Amy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: Jill Beauchamp
Good read. The main characters were well developed, except for Trinculo, the handsome clown. Having traveled to Vancouver Island made the setting of San Juan Island enjoyable to read about. The book provided descriptions of island life and rituals which rang true. Now to refresh my reading of the Tempest which formed a basis for the book as the characters performed summer theater of the same play. due Jan 2011
Cathy Belk
I liked this book more as it went along. One thing I found confusing was that the author calls the characters in the play by their character names (vs. their "real" names) until the end. While i get it (they are just people in the play, vs. real people, until the end), as a devise it was confusing for the reader.

But a fun and different book.
Could't get into this book. Characters were weak, hard to put together from the skipping around between flasbacks the present and characters identified by the Shakespeare role they played. Felt very juvenile. (And I like reading YA!)
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I am the author of the novel JUNO'S DAUGHTERS. My essays and short fiction have been published in literary magazines, Poets and Writers and On the Issues Magazine. In addition to writing, I have a commitment to public health. I am the Associate Director of the Master of Public Health program at the University of Missouri and I lead an annual study abroad in community health in Ghana, West Africa. ...more
More about Lise Saffran...
Juno's Daughters

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