Sandy Nawrot's Reviews > Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little
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's review
Aug 01, 2014

it was ok
bookshelves: audio

This was quite the disappointment for me. There has been some buzz about this book, and it was mentioned in the "Must List" in EW, which I take seriously. I've read the 5 star reviews. And I just don't get it. Yes I do read a significant number of mystery thrillers, so I can be critical. But this really felt like a very amateur stab at the genre.

To be fair, I will acknowledge that there are aspects of the book that sets it apart from others. The story is peppered with the occasional e-mail, CNN news flash, Wikipedia entry, etc, which gives it a current feel. The first person narrator of the book and its protagonist, Janie Jenkins, also had a very mouthy, snarky personality that mirrored the bratty celebrity teenagers that you hear about in the news. Granted, it was very hard to like her or care about her for that very reason, but the literary voice was distinct.

The plot construction however, was transparent. As Janie is poking around her mother's hometown looking for "clues" to who killed her, I got waves of de ja vu from Nancy Drew. She finds a picture here, a key here, a phone there...leading all the way to a final confrontation with The Bad Guy where all is revealed. Often this is the way things happen in a cozy mystery, but I don't think that was the intent for this book. 75% of the way through the book, I was ready for it to end. I really didn't even care about any of its big reveals.

The narrator for the audio was Bonnie Dennison, who seems to be fairly new to the business of narration but she did a great job. She embodied that snark and brattiness I was talking about, but because of that type of personality, did set my nerves on edge a little bit. I guess that meant she did her job.
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Reading Progress

August 1, 2014 – Shelved
August 1, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
September 26, 2014 – Started Reading
September 26, 2014 – Shelved as: audio
October 3, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Conner Thank you, Sandy. Your thoughts mirror mine. Had it not been for the "Breaking News" bits and Dennison's narration, I wouldn't have read more than a third. I didn't ever think Jane did it and I didn't really care who did. No one missed the dead mother because she was as bad if not worse than the daughter. Then the ending. What was I supposed to get out of that? Just desserts? How, with the press taking pictures of the whole thing, would that have really been the outcome? I'm so mad at this book!

Sandy Nawrot Well thank goodness! I was starting to think I'd gone all fussy. I really did not understand what all the hype was about, it was not a very good book. I guess it was the first every mystery you'd ever read, you might not know better.

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