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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  429 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Daughter, a penetrating novel by Essence editor asha bandele and chosen by Black Issues Book Review as Best Urban Fiction for 2003, follows a young woman through life that changes in one night from a horrific incident with police brutality.

At nineteen, Aya is a promising Black college student from Brooklyn who is struggling through a difficult relationship with her emotion
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 4th 2005 by Scribner (first published September 16th 2003)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  429 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Brown Girl Reading
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mother-daughter stories, stories about African-American women
Shelves: favorites
Have you ever read a book that evoked so much emotion that you felt it was familiar and it made you shed a tear? That hasn’t happened to me in ages. Daughter begins with the story of Miriam and her daughter Aya. They are keeping things together and getting on the best they can with no other family links. One night Aya goes out for her usual run and doesn’t come back. She is shot down by a police officer who mistakes her for a young black male suspect in a recent robbery in the area. Follow link ...more
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mothers, daughters, parents
This book spoke to me on so many levels. As a mother, a daughter, a Black woman in America, a survivor, a human being sometimes unsure which way is up. Miriam represents generations of women like me- so often raised to hide our emotions, ignore our wounds, forget our past. No time for whining, dwelling, talking about what's wrong, or trying to fix the brokenness inside. For the sake of our children, and the tomorrow we hope awaits them, we skip our healing and focus every ounce of energy on surv ...more
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Beautiful and heartbreaking. A must read!
Cheryl James
I loved the concept of this book and the story was definitely worth
telling but the writing style fell a little short for me. At any rate it is
always important to show and tell
your daughter/son how much you love them and to be honest with issues that truly matter. Sometimes the way we raise our children is either the way we were raised or the total opposite of our childhood. In most cases, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Part of me thinks I read this book at a bad time because I’m actually upset at the injustice Miriam has lived through. Without giving too much away, no one should lose every person they’ve loved. Daughter is Miriam’s story, one that contains love, heartache, and bitterness. Aya, Miriam’s daughter, is a teenager who gets in trouble by defending herself against a would be rapist. That act of rebellion is another spin of the same rebellion Miriam put her parents through and to a lesser extent her o ...more
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
This was one of the best books of 2015 for me! Click the link for my complete thoughts
Ayona Iona
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read it over a period of two days and nights. Every mother who has a daughter should read this. Especially every mother with a daughter who strives to follow her faith in an orthodox way should read this. Without a doubt it will touch you profoundly one way or another.
Asha Bandele's style of writing I found challenging at first but it didn't take me long to appreciate and enjoy it. With this book she writes from the perspective of the characters featured within however big or small their part
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! We're can I began with this book. I love the story/writing, in fact I find this story to be very strong because it relates to what is really happening in today's world. No parent should bury their child, police brutality have become a very strong point in this story, it shows what a parent go through when they lost there child. This book also shows how communication is broken within the family and that is what I love about the author, she knows how to really touch right inside the story. ...more
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: grief, black-women
I loved the concept but not the execution. Unfortunately, Bandele decides to give us the watered down version of what this book should have been. The language, the feelings and voices of the characters just fall flat. Aya is a believable character but she is not done justice by this writing and neither is her mother. I think it could have been better.
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful, brutal, and emotional. This was a Didi recommendation from a few years ago and I am so glad that I got around to it. I highly recommend.
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Painfully visceral novel about silences and avoidance in mother -daughter relationships, parent -child relationships passed down by generations before.

I find her writing painful, tragic and emotionally excavating. She has a keen sense of stripping the psychology thread bare and examining feelings and choices meticulously and raw.

She writes about love with desperate longing and makred with tragedy of the realities of the legacy and presence of racism, slavery and chronic injustice that black fo
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you have a daughter, if your are a daughter, if you know a daughter, if you plan on having a daughter. Yes, you need to buy this book!

This novel is about the relationship between a mother and daughter who never really knew on another until it was too late.

Miriam is the giving mother who would do anything to ensure Aya's need were meet. She felt the less Aya knew about her past, the less hurt and disappointed she would be. So wrong!
Mar 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Literary lovers
Shelves: my-favs
Daughter tackles the tragic subject of a mother who experiences the loss of a child.

Though the theme of the book was relatively heavy, Ms. Bandele's words were thought-provoking. I felt every emotion the characters were feeling and deeply empathized with the protagonist, Miriam.

This novel is a must read.

Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is disturbing, uplifting, inspirational - all at the same time. A very good peek into the cofused life of a character - the things that make us the way we are and the ways a person can change. I am really having a hard time writing about this book but it has had an impact on me. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Dee Cherry
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, paperback
This was a nicely written book on reflection & how history repeats itself. Very sad what Aya & Miriam experienced. Once Miriam's story was told, she was better understood. Storyline was detailed & held my attention. This is a book daughters & mothers alike should read. ...more
Never Without a Book
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The pain & sorrow in this book. Whew! I am just broken, just broken! You will not walk away from this book without tears in your eyes.

“I shall become, I shall become a collector of me. And put meat on my soul.”
— Sonia Sanchez
Dec 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
tragic beauty can be a captivating force
Jeanne Foster
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bandele has a very poetic way writing that is a pleasure to read.
Crystal (Melanatedreader) Forte'
Beautiful and devastating all at the same time
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a good story that had a powerful message and it's the type of book that more people, especially women should read. A woman trying to find her place in the world leaves home to be with a man and start a family with him only to have him taken from her too soon and she's forced to raise their daughter alone. But instead of dealing with what's happened, living through the pain and finding joy in life, she closes herself off emotionally, especially to the one person she loves most, her daugh ...more
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a heart felt book for me. The same thing happened twenty years later! Thank you for writing this book and giving readers an idea of what Black Women go through as far as having to hold things in when really we need to be discussing past and present events good and bad. Time to stop sweeping things under the rug and talk about it. Thank you now I have to go and get your other book The Prisoner's Wife! ...more
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love this book about a mother who must come to grips with losing her daughter while at the same time realizing that she was never really close with her daughter. As she sits by her daughter's bedside in the hospital and after the funeral, this mother confronts her past. In confronting that past, she examines her relationship with Aya's father, her own parents, and herself. Loved it! ...more
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Simply excellent. Can serve not just as a compelling story about a complex mother-daughter relationship, but as a history of black American experience in the last fifty years. Subtle, multidemensional writing that communicates most through what is left unsaid.
Laura Hoffman Brauman
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This one made my heart ache. The writing was exquisite -- almost lyrical. So much about being a mother, being a daughter, dealing with senseless loss -- a lot to think about here. This would be a very good choice for book groups.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best - and most difficult - books I've ever read. Asha Bendele offers a primer on love and loss, parenting, and being true to oneself. We must never forget the violence against others simply because of the color of their skin. We must keep telling our story and their story. ...more
Bridget Glover
The ending doesn't live up to the rest

The first 90ish% of the book is amazing. But the end just fizzles before it dies. It's like a roller coaster with all the twist and turns during the journey and the end is smooth but abrupt.
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book that evoked the most emotion in me. I cried so hard. Such a touching story for anyone. As a woman, this book was powerful for me.
les points cardinaux
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Such an intense and heartbreaking book that I think more people should read. I highly recommend this book.
Dominique Decoster
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in two days. It is a sad novel, representative of racial injustice and police brutality in America. Well written.
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was so beautifully written and brought me to tears multiple times throughout the story. I MUST read more of Bandele's work! ...more
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The Reader's Bar: May Book Discussion: Daughter: A Novel 13 12 May 23, 2018 08:50AM  
Literary Fiction ...: Discussion: Daughter 88 106 Jun 01, 2015 06:30PM  

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An award-winning author and journalist, asha bandele first attained recognition when she penned her 1999 debut book, The Prisoner’s Wife, a powerful, lyrical memoir about a young Black woman’s romance and marriage with a man who was serving a twenty-to-life sentence in prison. With the hope that they would live as a couple in the outside world, she became pregnant with a daughter. A former feature ...more

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