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Good story line....
Judy was born at Woodstock Festival in 1969. Cassie and Kirk are her hippie mother and father. Cassie is in and out of Judy’s life, constantly leaving to try to find herself. This is the story of Judy’s life with Kirk, who goes back to school and becomes an attorney, and her relationship with her vanishing mother.
Interesting Concept Not Fully Developed
There a lot of instances when the reader is left up in the air. Why did Judy do this? Or why did Cassie have to do what she did. I honestly didn’t think this was written as well as it could have been. Yet, it was a good story line.
Rate "The Sometimes Daughter" with a 2 for several reasons. The first, is the lack of sophistication in the prose - this book read as a YA book rather than one aimed at adults. The characters ended up as stereotypes as their personalities and relationships with each other were not fully developed. Understand the author's intent of demonstrating that an authoritarian/emotionally absent mother married to a passive father creates another dysfunctional generation and so on. In addition, do not believe that Cassie's joining The People's Temple was necessary to convey her psychological need to create an alternate family definition & the negative effects this had on Judy - concepts were already covered with her move to the commune. Specifically do not recommend this for a reading group as there is not enough substance for a discussion.
Loved this book
I loved this book. It was a great read from start to finish. It truly shows that just giving birth to someone does not make you their true mother.
A 70's Story
It's the story of a young girl (Judy) struggling to cope with her feelings about growing up with a mother (Cassie) who ran away from reality and dropped in unannounced at the most inopportune times was incredible. The book was well-written from the viewpoint of the daughter who was caught in the fine line of hate and love for the woman who gave birth to her and walked out on her.
How can you grow up loving a mother who keeps leaving you to chase her own rainbows? The devastation Cassie brings every time she drops in out of the blue sends Judy back to dark places when she realizes that her own mother is too self-centered to be there for her at any point in her life.
I personally would love to see a sequel to this book, years down the road when Judy has become an adult and has a family of their own.
The story starts out in an interesting way, but became a bit predictable. The story is narrated by a child who seems to just want a normal family and to feel safe and loved. While one parent devotes their life to the child the other parent is unbelievably selfish and childish. There are some interesting characters throughout the book and they help explain a lot of why some of the characters had certain behaviors. An enjoyable read.
The sixties and seventies were turbulent, dangerous yet exciting times. Much of what we see on the news today is contrived and sensational, as if trying to recapture the wonder and awe of the once nightly news casts of forty years ago. There is much from that time that would make a good novel. The Sometimes Daughter is not that book.
The Left-Behind Child
As the book opens the main character states “I was born at Woodstock.” That is the shortest best sentence in the whole book. I was intrigued by this statement and the expectation was for more than the book produced. Most unfortunate is Emmons lengthy dialog that rarely feels real or essential to the plot. Skimming from quotation mark to end quote was essential in getting to the end of this book. Not recommended.
Sweet Judy's mother, Cassie, was a free-love, free-spirited hippie type. The kind of mom that would name her daughter (at least phonetically) after the song that was playing while she gave birth in a tent at Woodstock. As a child, Judy adored her loving, dancing mother. But when Cassie carted Judy to a subsistence farm commune, abandoning her to the care of others, Judy felt the early stirrings of resentment. Even as she grew, Judy was torn between yearning for her mother, and hating the way Cassie put her adventurous life before her own daughter. The writing is lovely; gently allowing the reader to see the impact of events that the child Judy cannot comprehend. This is not one of those tortured childhood novels, but rather a tribute to the strength of family bonds and the integrity of an ordinary life.l
Hooked by the promise of a story beginning with a child born at Woodstock, I eagerly jumped in to the pages of this book. But had I not acquired The Sometimes Daughter as an early reviewer, I would have abandoned it before finishing. It reads like it was written by an novice, or a student, perhaps--so much so that I had to double check to see if it was written for Young Adults. I can't remember the last time I read such weak dialogue. Entirely forgettable. I honestly can't imagine what the other reviewers found so “deeply poignant” or “intriguing”. I was extremely disappointed. I read a great deal of fiction, both for myself and for my teenage daughters. I thought this story lacked character development and cohesion. I was glad to close the book and move on to something that held my interest.
A Sometimes Daughter
Emmons continues to put out great books. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen to Judy blue eyes next. It held my attention throughout the novel. The only negative I had was that the ending was too abrubt. It changed the slow pace of the story too much to my liking. But, I will look forward to her next book.