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The Whitsun Daughters

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  96 ratings  ·  27 reviews
From a critically acclaimed author, a twisty and gorgeously written YA ghost story about young women separated by centuries but connected by a desire to control their futures. Read an excerpt below!

I am no longer a creature, yet my habits remain. My desires, still the old ones. Lurking amidst the brush, watching squirrels collect acorns and deer drink from puddles. Watchi
Published August 25th 2020 by Dutton
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Average rating 3.32  · 
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Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Whitsun Daughters
BY Carrie Mesrobian

A story about three girls Lilah, Poppy and Daisy from a Midwestern town in a dual timeline story with a ghost of a young Irish immigrant, Jane Murphy, from over a century earlier. Mesorbian weaves the stories of the two timelines beautifully in this haunting story about young women and their experiences with mental illness, sexuality, unplanned pregnancies, abortion and unrequited love.

In this beautiful quick read, I was completely mesmerized by Mesrobia
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful and atmospheric story which alternates between the ghost of a woman from the 1800's telling her own story, and her descendants, three teenage girls, coming of age in modern times. It is bold and unashamed in its portrayals of the things many young girls experience growing up, and speaks plainly about things like menstruation, sex, and pregnancy. The story connects the women of this family with those experiences they have in common, even though they live centuries apart.
I rea
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book for review from Penguin Teen in exchange for an honest review.

At first, I really liked this book! I loved the alternating POVs, with one person being in first person and the other in third person, it really solidified the vibe of someone watching them. I also thought it was cool to go back and forth between past and present to see how life progresses. I thought the writing was really good and the tonal change from past to present was also well done.

The characters
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Carrie Mesrobian's writing is phenomenal. Read this book if you want something wholly original and containing topics not often found in YA. I wish this book got more love.

Note for Librarian Amy: for mature readers.
Kristin Boldon
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, new, own, young-adult
I would have loved to have this book as a teen, in the pre-internet days. My main source of information about sex and my body was from books, and there were so few realistic teens in what I read, and even fewer that had frank portrayals of the push/pull of teen sexuality. Mesrobian intertwines two timelines, a past narrated by a ghost who was a child bride to a distant Midwestern farmer, and a present in which the ghost observes a trio of teen cousins (The Whitsun Daughters of the title) who str ...more
Kai (CuriousCompass)
Mar 23, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: i-have-a-need
Carrie Mesrobian? Check. Ghosts? Check. Family Lineage? Check. With Dark Secrets™? DOUBLE CHECK.

I. Need. This. Book.
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, fiction, ya
What a gem of a book.
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This gorgeously written historical novel about three sisters and the mysterious nineteenth century ghost who haunts their dreams and house will have you enthralled from start to finish. The book is downright atmospheric -- I couldn't put it down. The characters are also intriguing, as are their relationships with each other.

An unabashedly feminist book, the frank scenes about first periods, misplaced tampons, Diva Cups, and teenage sex had me laughing and gasping for air, they were so engaging
Jeff Koloze
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: abortion activists, college and high school students
The masturbation scenes don’t deflect from the plot’s abortion; rename this novel “Teens Who Kill.”

The masturbation scenes in Mesrobian’s novel are titillating but not as remarkable as the euphemisms hiding the chemical abortion plot. Of course, the scenes which abuse male sexual power are meant for the sexually immature (teens or young adult readers). Serious readers (everybody else) can use Mesrobian’s fiction as yet more evidence of the linguistic gymnastics, if not duplicity, which pro-abort
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well here is a case where maybe my desire to go into books mostly blind backfired. All I read was this was a ghost story, along with the semi-creepy cover/mysterious cover and I was in.

What I was in for did not match what I was expecting.
It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t like it much. To me this was not a ghost story, and if the synopsis hadn’t told me one character was a ghost, I would never have known. I even read the synopsis at the end to double check.

This was more a clipping out of these two sets
The writing in this book was superb. It was very atmospheric and beautiful. The sisters/cousins were written well as sisters, the dynamics were there (view spoiler) and felt true.

The mothers/aunts were the worst parent figures almost in the history of fiction. (view spoiler)
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was ok
Thank you to Penguin Teen for giving me a free E-book copy of this book.

This story was not for me. I hardly cared for any of it. I didn’t like the authors writing style, I thought the plot was boring, and this isn’t a twisty ghost story and I’m not sure why it’s called one except there’s a hint of one at the end but there’s not contact or anything. There wasn’t any relation between the two POVs until the end, and I just didn’t care.

However! While some of the scenes were a bit gory for me (and b
Zoe and MB
This was a really interesting book. At first I thought it would have a similar theme to little women, where it was a story about 3 girls(two sisters and one cousin) and their lives. While this was one of the storylines, there was another that took place in the past, about a woman and her marriage. It was very interesting and had a lot of plot twists. This was a very fast book, that took place over only a couple of days. It was very interesting, but had some topics and scenes that didn’t sit righ ...more
Dec 15, 2020 rated it liked it
The writing! So good! But this is a hard book to get into. There are two plots--one back in the day maybe mid-1800s? and one modern. The first chapter has five members of an extended family, plus another guy, plus an ex-boyfriend, plus a dead mother, plus a mention of a different guy, plus a reference to a different family, plus a dog named Rusty.

By the end of the first chapter, I had a rough sketch of all the people, but it was touch and go there for a bit. At any rate, Mesrobian, besides bein
Holly Ristau
Jan 08, 2021 rated it did not like it
I didn't like this book. I didn't like the characters, or the total lack of story. Were there lessons in there I missed? Two women shouldn't be allowed to head a household? Children should make all the major decisions in their lives? Everyone should keep multiple secrets? Men are jerks? Sisters are jerks but they'll help you out before your terrible parents?

None of the characters felt like real people to me. I'm not sure why some of these characters were even in the story. Why the drunk uncle?
Sep 24, 2020 rated it liked it
I started out really enjoying this book, good characters and interesting storylines, but things change midway through. I will not spoil the story for any readers with specific details. Towards the middle there are some disturbing events and the way the characters deal or don’t deal with them are even more infuriating. Towards the end it was challenging to keep up with the multiple storylines and I feel it ended too abruptly. I seriously had to check my phone to make sure I hadn’t accidentally hi ...more
Morgan Tiner
Feb 17, 2021 rated it liked it
I mean it’s a good book. Some parts were even a little spicy which I liked. Some of it was a little hard to follow, I kept having to go back and re-read some of it. I also did not like the ending. Just as things were finally getting interesting it just seemed to end. It wasn’t horrible by any means, and I don’t regret reading it, it just wasn’t my fave.
Erica Sage
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is gorgeous. The words are poetic, the storytelling atmospheric. I was completely captivated by both the ghost's chapters and the girls' chapters. It addresses mature themes, and it's not a fast-paced story, so I can imagine this book is not for everyone. In fact, it doesn't read YA, but it's too short to be adult. Regardless, I loved it. ...more
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous prose and a compelling double story line. This historical novel is a departure for the author, and I loved how detailed Jane's timeline was. Carrie Mesrobian is so good at writing frankly and empathetically about teens' sexuality. I only wish we had gotten to know Lilah better, as she was maybe the most interesting character to me in the contemporary storyline. ...more
A'Llyn Ettien
Sep 08, 2020 rated it liked it
A nice, moody story of women's lives in the past and the modern day. ...more
The phrase "unusual family of women" almost guarantees I'll read it. ...more
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was a waste of my time. While the writing was beautiful, there was no plot. Nothing was at stake and the daughters were all incredibly unlike able and flat.
Apr 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wasn't expecting the ending. Or the way the book was written. I loved every minute of it and I couldn't put it down!! ...more
This book was EVERYTHING. I absolutely could not put it down.
Mar 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2020, arc
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