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The Murderer's Daughters

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  13,746 ratings  ·  1,321 reviews
Lulu and Merry’s childhood was never ideal, but on the day before Lulu’s tenth birthday their father drives them into a nightmare. He’s always hungered for the love of the girl’s self-obsessed mother; after she throws him out, their troubles turn deadly.

Lulu’s mother warned her to never let him in, but when he shows up, he’s impossible to ignore. He bullies his way past te
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published January 19th 2010 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  13,746 ratings  ·  1,321 reviews

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Sep 09, 2014 rated it liked it
We can't erase the painful past but at least try not to allow it to control the future
this novel tracks the lives of two little girls after the murder of their mother
the writer clarify the emotional and psychological effects of domestic violence and childhood trauma on the growth of the children and their relationships with others
the girls grow up, one of them tried hard to succeed at her life, and the other gets into disturbed relationships with men
the narrative showed their pain, struggles, an
Cara St.Hilaire
Jan 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Rarely will one story make you literally feel anger or pain, let alone bring tears to your eyes. This story will do that to you. Two innocent and endearing children—young girls—have their sad little world torn apart the day their fathers enters their apartment in Brooklyn and kills their full-of-life mother. What Lulu and Merry endure throughout their life after this horrific event is simply heart wrenching. Both spend their lives just trying to find some sense of closure and peace with the trag ...more
Jan 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
Vapid story, vapid characterization, vapid prose.

I was impelled to try out this book due to the number of positive reviews it got and the fact that it was translated into several other languages, but popular opinion proves to be vastly misleading. First of all, the plot is rather thin, and at times cliché - and those clichéd moments remind me of a cheap imitation of "White Oleander". The author of "The Murderer's Daughters" does not have the ability to flesh out her characters into authentic, th
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
On that fateful day, Merry and Lulu's father comes into their apartment in a drunken rage and does the unthinkable - kills their mother and wounds the youngest daughter, Merry. After being shuffled between several dysfunctional family members, the daughters live at an orphanage and are eventually taken into foster care. The rest of the book chronicles the girls' lives and how they are forever changed by their father's terrible crime.

Sorry to be a negative nancy and a debbie downer for what seem
Talulah Mankiller
Apr 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was another one of those books that while the synopsis from the book sounded good (which is why I agreed to read it), it didn't really do the book justice. For some reason, and I'm not sure why, I was expecting a book that would have concentrated more on the father and that the story would some how revolve around him. And while his actions acted as the pivot point in the story, this was more about Lulu and Merry and how they chose to deal with their tragic past.

Lulu is the eldest daughter a
*Won this book as a first reads free giveaway on Goodreads.

Well, this book had some good points and not-so-good points. The whole book focuses on two sisters, Lulu and Merry. The book starts off when they are young children and their father murders their mother and even tried to kill Merry (the youngest). The story follows them through their grandparents while being exiled by aunts and uncles, an orphanage and finally a foster home. It also continues through their adult years.
Lulu has shut her
Nov 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
I won! I won! Can't wait to read it!

ETA - This was a very compelling story, and I consider myself lucky to have received an advanced copy through First Reads. From the first page, I was drawn into the characters' lives. I enjoyed the way the story's viewpoint changed from Merry's to Lulu's and back throughout, and I loved that it spanned about 30 years time. Overall, I was very satisfied with this author's debut novel and look forward to reading more of her work.
Rebecca McNutt
The Murderer's Daughters tells the story of a dysfunctional family plunged into a nightmare. When ten-year-old Lulu lets her beloved father into the house one day, she never expects him to do the unthinkable. Shocking, powerful and unforgettable, this book is one that really makes readers think.
Kelly Houser
This book was just OK for me. The premise of the novel sounded very interesting, and I would say the first half of the novel was very good. The first half of the novel dealt with the details of Lulu and Merry’s abusive childhood and the terrible conditions they lived in. This led up to the murder of their mother and what happened to the two girls after her death and their father’s imprisonment. The girls are bounced from family member to family member until they finally end up in an orphanage.

Ruth Turner
Oct 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: flawed-families

The story is told from two points of view, Lula's and Merry's. Both girls were so similar that at times I got confused about which sister I was listening to.

The first half of the book was an enjoyable, fast read, telling of Lulu and Merry's early years after the murder of their mother. But then story dragged.

I struggled with adult Lula and Merry. I didn't like them particularly, and felt no sympathy or compassion for them at all. As the years passed it was a case of same old, same old, with a h
Jun 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book. However, by about page 35, I knew it wasn't going to happen. The narrative bounces between two sisters who have survived horrific domestic violence. There is no real difference between the two narratives. Lulu's voice is Merry's voice. The shifts between the sisters seem random and forced until very near the end of the book when the reader suddenly gets a more natural, back and forth change of characters. Early on, the story starts from Lulu's perspective. About 4 cha ...more
Dec 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
It has been a long time since I've devoured a book as quickly as this one but once I started reading I did not want to walk away for long.

The story begins with Lulu whom is awaiting her 10th birthday and makes a single mistake that will haunt her for the rest of her life. For the next 30 years, the story switches from Lulu to Merry's point of view to tell the story of growing up as a "Prison Girl" and overcoming that stigmata.

Lulu gets tough, buckling down and making sure to control everything
Sharon L
3.5 stars.

i'm a bit torn about this book. on the one and there were moments i was bored. the girls, though growing up didn't really grow up.

on the other hand, both sisters were complicated, full of contradiction. and the way they navigated life, love, career and family was beautifull.

the effects of what the father did were interesting. especially how two girls having the same path in childhood became so different (even how they treated their father).

also, there were moments my heartbroke. wh
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I’ve definitely read this one at least two times before now. Maybe three. I’m not sure why I keep coming back to it, but I do, and it feels fresh every time.

The characters are certainly part of the draw— they’re hard to forget and feel so real. As do their relationships with one another. And there’s something unpretentious and truthful about the characters’ internal dialogue that appeals to me, too.

I forgot it took place in Boston, because the landmarks mentioned meant nothing to me the other
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Jessica (BlogEared Books)
I can’t stop thinking about this book. It is haunting and an amazing character study. After reading this, I wondered if the author, Randy Susan Meyers had actually experienced something traumatic like this. The book is told from the perspective of Lulu and Merry, the murderer’s daughters- they take turns telling the story in their own words. Merry and Lulu’s parents have a difficult relationship and after a separation period, their father convinces Lulu to let him in to talk to her mother. After ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Dec 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
The reason Randy Meyers writes with such authority is explained in her acknowledgement section. She has worked with men who are not monsters but who have committed monstrous acts. This book addresses the collateral damage inflicted on children who witness, in this case, the murder of their mother by their father. Meyers pulls off the difficult feat of two-person narration, alternating between the two sisters at the center of the story. It is astounding that this is her debut in that she has mana ...more
Alisha Marie
I had such high hopes for this book. From the reviews and the synopsis, it seemed like it would be right up my alley: psychologically complex, angsty, dramatic. But nope, no dice. Okay, well, it was a dramatic (but not in a good way) and angsty, but it was just very mediocre. And here's my biggest problem with The Murderer's was repetition galore.

Firstly, this book dragged. My God was this a long book! And it was only 320 pages, but man, did it feel long! Again, this was excacerba
Apr 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
After Lulu and Merry’s father murdered their mother, all Lulu and Merry wanted was another place to call home. Unfortunately, they never found another place they could call home, as they were bounced from place to place. Though this all, Lulu and Merry realized that home is where the heart is and nothing is stronger then a sister’s bond. Sadly before they could both come to this realization, they first would have to endure lots of heartache and loss. Lulu is forever haunted by the words of her m ...more
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
The Murderer’s Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers

As the title suggests, The Murderer’s Daughters is a study of the lives of two sisters who lose their mother when she is killed by their father. The book follows the lives of the sisters as they carry the impact of that singular event with them through their lives.

This well written novel studies how the murder causes dysfunction in the children and how it reverberates out into the families on both sides of the marriage. It is not a pretty picture. Ms
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This debut novel tracks the lives of two sisters as they attempt to create lives in the shadow of a harrowing family tragedy. Older sister Lulu must cope with the guilt of opening the door to their father the day he stabbed their mother to death, while younger sister Merry lives with her memories of the murder and her father's failed attempt to kill her and himself. Forced into an orphange by the death of their maternal grandmother, the sisters are lucky enough to find a stable foster family who ...more
Dec 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Randy Susan Meyes' debut novel and thus not have to wait for a novel I was very excited for.

The premise of THE MURDERER'S DAUGHTERS is that sisters, Lulu and Merry, lose their mother in an especially horrifying way when their father kills her.

But THE MURDERER'S DAUGHTERS is not a roadside accident, a spectacle which the more honest among us admit we can't help gawking at a little.

Instead, Ms. Meyers, who has a background in victim crime, raises this issue to o
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this wonderfully written novel, author Randy Susan Meyer has surpassed all my expectations with a debut novel that reads nothing like a debut. Well-crafted characters with depth, the story of Lulu and Merry is one that is sure to touch your heart. It is a true representation of how abuse and childhood trauma can truly stunt the growth of children, emotionally - so much so that they spend their entire lives trying to overcome their emotional handicap. A must read for all. (Detailed Review to c ...more
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
This was such an interesting subject for a book. I have never had anything happen to me that I thought should be kept a secret. My husband always tells me I tell too much, so it is hard for me to understand why anyone would keep a secret from everyone. It just seems life is so much easier when everything is out in the open. Lulu and Merry both have different ways of dealing with their secret as well. The book had a good flow to it and the end came together perfectly.
Nov 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, first-reads
This story was very captivating. I quickly became invested in Merry and Lulu. I felt myself inserting myself in their places throughout the book. With 60 pgs to go, I thought I had it all figured out.....but I didn't and I was glad that I didn't.

This great story of Lulu and Merry and how the tragedy of one event can shape entire lives, was well written and heartfelt.
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
A beautifully written, compulsively readable debut, The Murderer's Daughters is a testament to the power of family and the ties that bind us together and tear us apart.
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the summer of 1971, in Brooklyn, the Zachariah family went through a horrible upheaval. When Celeste threw out her husband, Joe, she could not have foreseen what would happen next.

Daughters Louise (Lulu) and Meredith (Merry) have been fending for themselves for a while, so when, in July, there is a knock on the door, Lulu tries to keep her father from entering. But he convinces her that all will be fine.

But it is not. Soon their lives are in crisis mode: their mother is dead, they are living
Bridget Thomas (Cruisingthroughpages)
This book was full of emotion. These two sisters had to go through so much pain and tragedy throughout their lives. It starts out with them as young children having to deal with their father murdering their mother. Then it follows them throughout the next 32 years. You get to see what happens to them and what type of people they become. You watch them as they grow up. It's such a heartbreaking and beautiful story. I will say though that I preferred the first half of the book over the second. The ...more
Dec 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
"The Murderer's Daughters" is a compelling read, which really shows the author's mastery over the subject of domestic violence and it's aftermath, not just technically but emotionally as well. I was incredibly impressed by the character study of Lulu and Merry, two sisters who grew from tiny girls into middle-aged women, and in first-person too!

Lulu and Merry's lives were incredibly rich and textured, which perhaps gave me pause in how shallow and unkind the rest of their family was, particularl
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Randy Susan Meyers' internationally bestselling novels are informed by years working with families impacted by family violence— and a long journey from idolizing bad boys to loving a good man.

After years working in social service and criminal justice, Meyers published her first novel, The Murderer’s Daughters—a story of the aftermath of domestic violence—a Target Pick for the country. Her novels h

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