After a childhood spent in an institution and a series of foster homes, Avery James has trained herself not to wonder about the mother who gave her up. But her safe, predictable life changes one night at a party in the home of a wealthy Santa Fe art dealer when she stumbles upon the portrait of a woman who is the mirror image of herself.
Avery has found her mother, Isabel Colinas, an artist who died eight years earlier in a tragic accident. Slowly but inevitably, she is compelled to discover all she can about the woman. Searching for Isabel -- in her work, in the stories of friends, rivals, and lovers, in Isabel's own journal, and in what's left of Querencia, the old miner's cabin that was her haven -- Avery is drawn into complex relationships with the people who knew her mother. And the unexpected reappearance of Will Cameron, the boy Avery loved in high school, further complicates matters. As she draws together the threads of her mother's artistic heritage, her grandmother's skills as a curandera, or healer, and her own talent for cooking, Avery learns that, while discovering Isabel provides a certain resolution in her life, it's discovering herself that brings lasting happiness.
Beautifully observed and insightful, with Isabel's Daughter Judith Ryan Hendricks delivers a moving portrait of familial love -- a bond that transcends time and place.
USA Today - April Umminger
At times, Isabel's Daughter borders on predictable. However, Avery's clairvoyant visions prevent overdone details of obvious resolutions between characters. Hendricks' novel is an engaging read, which adds a little extra to an ordinary story.
Daily Oklahoman - Peggy Gandy
This wonderful read offers an escape the reader will be reluctant to return from. It's warm-hearted and realistic with just enough humor to keep it from getting too heavy. And, if you are a devotee of Santa Fe, N.M., you will love the author's descriptions of day-to-day life in this artistic community.
Denver Post - Robin Vidimos
Hendricks' easily readable style combined with a pacing that pulls the reader in without lingering too long in any single place, results in a novel that is heartening and not heavy, a thoughtful summer read.
The climax involves a heady dose of feel-good melodrama, but Avery's no-nonsense toughness keeps the saccharine at bay.
Booklist - Karen Holt
Readers of this fine novel won't want to tune out any part of Avery's life.... ... calls to mind Barbara Kingsolver in her affinity for wise women and the power of close female friendships.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Billie Z.
This is an absolutely wonderful book. This is the story of Avery James, the daughter of an artist (Isabel) who was deposited in a Foundling home at birth. Avery grows up painfully and constantly at a distance from those around her. The novel is... Read More
Rated of 5
I love this book. More than that, I love the way this book is written. Judith Ryan Hendricks had my attention from the moment I started the book until the second I put it down. Reading is one of my favorite past times, and I finish at least 2... Read More
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