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BookBrowse Reviews A Family Daughter by Maile Meloy

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A Family Daughter

by Maile Meloy

A Family Daughter by Maile Meloy X
A Family Daughter by Maile Meloy
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2006, 336 pages

    Paperback:
    Feb 2007, 336 pages

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A riveting story of love, sex, secrets, guilt, and forgiveness, by the author of Liars and Saints - Novel

From the book jacket: It's 1979, and seven-year-old Abby, the youngest member of the close-knit Santerre family, is trapped indoors with the chicken pox during a heat wave. The events set in motion that summer will span decades and continents, change the Santerres forever, and surprise and amaze anyone who loved Meloy's Liars and Saints.

A rich, full novel about passion and desire, fear and betrayal, A Family Daughter illuminates both the joys and complications of contemporary life, and the relationship between truth and fiction. For everyone who has yet to meet the Santerres, an unmatched pleasure awaits.

Comment: A Family Daughter isn't so much a sequel to Meloy's debut novel, Liars and Saints, as it is a parallel story. In Liars and Saints Meloy told the story of four generations of the Santerre family from World War II to the present. In A Family Daughter we meet the same people but from a different perspective. At the center of this tale is Abby, the granddaughter of Yvette and Teddy Senterre who we first meet in 1973 when she is 7-years-old. Following the many twists and turns of her young life (which I won't reveal to avoid spoiling the plot) she publishes a highly autobiographical novel, Liars and Saints. Meloy juxtaposes the 'fictional' Liars and Saints with the 'real' A Family Daughter to tell a story that stands alone in either book but, when combined together packs (in the words of Kirkus Reviews) "a seismic wallop".

"Meloy's Santerres may just be the most fascinating, engrossing American family since the Louds." - The Los Angeles Times.

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in February 2006, and has been updated for the February 2007 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

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