Diana Renn's Reviews > The Murderer's Daughters

The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers
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Jan 23, 11

Read in January, 2011

I can't stop thinking about The Murderer's Daughters, even though I've read two other books since. I must admit, as a new mom, I hesitated at first to read a story about domestic violence and its aftermath; these days I tend to be skittish about stories of children in dangerous situations. In this story, an alcoholic man turns on his family, killing his wife and attacking one of his young daughters. But I was quickly pulled into this novel, as is not so much about violence as it is about resilience. It explores how the daughters, Lulu and Merry, attempt to rebuild their lives over the ensuing decades and how they deal with having a father in prison. At a point, the lies they tell the world and themselves in order to cope are put to the test, and the girls must make difficult moral choices about how to reconstruct their family narrative. It's a fascinating study of how their survival skills and emotional coping strategies change over time, particularly when one daughter has children of her own, drastically raising the stakes. A great strength of this novel is its roster of realistic, psychologically complex characters. Yes, there are murderers and batterers roaming these pages, but the men are portrayed not necessarily as monsters, but as people who commit monstrous deeds. This is a fascinating psychological study, a story of two of the strongest girls you'll ever meet in fiction, and, above all, a keep-you-up-all-night-page-turner. A must-read, and out in paperback on Feb. 1!
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