Dawn's Reviews > The Good Daughters

The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard
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's review
Jul 09, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: audiobooks

Based on the reviews I've seen, on this site and others, I am clearly in the minority in my opinion of this book. I'm not sure what others have seen that I'm missing, but I really just didn't like it. The story is told in alternating chapters from the point of view Ruth Plank and Dana Dickerson, as they each tell their respective life story. Ruth and Dana are 'birthday sisters', having been born on the same day in the same hospital in rural New Hampshire. I found Dana to be a little more likable than Ruth, whom I found somewhat pathetic in her obsession with Ray, Dana's older brother. And, while I'm certainly not a prude, I found the author spent a lot of time focusing on the sex lives of the two women. It just didn't make sense to me, and I didn't see the point of most of it in the context of this story. Again, maybe I'm missing something.

I have no idea whether the big 'reveal' at the end of the book was supposed to be a surprise, but it was easily predictable from the very first pages. This wouldn't necessarily have been a problem if the resolution made sense. Instead, when the final truth was revealed, I found one character to be portrayed in a way that was completely incompatible with how he had been portrayed throughout the rest of the book, while other characters seemed to have no strong reaction towards the people and circumstances which had completely altered the course of their lives. I just didn't find that very believable.

As usual with an audiobook, I can't say how much of my reaction is to the book itself, and how much is due to the narration. My distaste for this book might lessen somewhat with time. But having just finished it, I really can't give this any more than 1 star.
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