The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard
This review is based on the uncorrected proof, advanced readers' edition.
This book had so much potential. I know the story that this novel was loosely based on - such a fascinating human interest story that deserves a better telling than this. (I won't reveal too much since the whole book leads up to the reveal - which is a little too easy to spot early on.)
First, the good news. Some of the pieces were handled so tenderly and poignantly. I loved the story of Dana and Clarice. It was so refreshing to see a lesbian relationship treated so normally; the love between the two women was evident and portrayed beautifully. Some of the stories on the farm were beautifully written: Edwin's love of the land and the struggles of a family farm were told well.
The bad news: since this is an uncorrected proof, I do hope that some of the many inconsistencies will be corrected. I found myself thumbing back through a number of times, feeling confused about a character's name that changed or a scenario that changed. There was also a tremendous amount of repetition early on that felt messy. If it was done for effect, it failed.
The piece that bothered me the most was that there were two first person narrators, Ruth and Dana, yet they were virtually indistinguishable in their manner of telling their stories. I would get confused - again! - as to which was whom sometimes because their voices were so much alike. I appreciate novels with multiple narrators, but please make them individuals, not carbon copies!
This book was seriously flawed and fell flat for this reader.
FTC Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the publisher for review on LibraryThing.