MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of A Family Daughter by Maile Meloy

A Family Daughter

by Maile Meloy

A Family Daughter by Maile Meloy X
A Family Daughter by Maile Meloy
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2006, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2007, 336 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

From the award-winning author of Half in Love and Liars and Saints, a riveting story of love, sex, secrets, guilt, and forgiveness.

Maile Meloy's debut novel, Liars and Saints, captured the hearts of readers and critics alike. Now Meloy returns with a novel even more dazzling and unexpected than her first. Brilliantly entertaining, A Family Daughter might also be the most insightful novel about families and love that you will read this year.

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.

1

In the summer of 1979, just when Yvette Santerre thought her children were all safely launched and out of the house, her granddaughter came to stay in Hermosa Beach and came down with a fever, and then a rash. Yvette thought it might be stress: Abby was seven, and her parents were considering divorce, and she must have sensed trouble. At bedtime she cried from homesickness, and Yvette asked if she wanted to go home. Abby said, "I want to go home, and I want to stay here."

The rash got worse, and Yvette's husband said they should tell Clarissa her daughter was sick. But Clarissa had gone back to Hawaii, where she had lived in Navy housing before Abby was born. She said it was the last place she had been happy, and she was staying somewhere without a telephone. So Yvette called Abby's father, up in Northern California.

"Oh...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. A Family Daughter is the story of four generations of Santerres. Discuss the evolving parent-child relationships within each generation.
  2. Discuss the themes of resurrection and resilience in the novel. Consider incidents such as Abby and Jamie's relationship, Saffron's baby, Margot's affair, and the family reunion at the end of the novel. What drives each character to overcome tragedy and adversity?
  3. Why do you think the focus of the book, with the exception of Jamie, is on the women of the Santerre family? What is Yvette's role as family matriarch?
  4. When thinking of the photographer, Yvette realizes ...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

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 family but from a different perspective .... 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 "a seismic wallop"...continued

Full Review (322 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Media Reviews

The Boston Globe
[Meloy] may be the first great American realist of the twenty-first century....The Santerres aren't real but they feel like they are, and the reader will not soon forget them.

Los Angeles Times
Meloy's Santerres may just be the most fascinating, engrossing American family since the Louds.
BookBrowse note: In 1973 PBS made a 12-part documentary about a Californian family - The Louds. The documentary is considered by many to be the originator of reality TV and opened the door for future shows portraying dysfunctional families.

The New York Times Book Review
Upends popular notions of American fiction...A spectacular first novel.

Kirkus
Each novel stands alone; together they pack a seismic wallop.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Meloy shifts point of view fluently, and though her characters weather all sorts of melodrama, the novel itself feels light - poignant and affecting, meaningful yet somehow weightless.

Library Journal - Reba Leiding
This new work is enjoyable on its own, but those who have read Meloy's earlier effort can puzzle whether this book is a sequel or a revision. Highly recommended for popular fiction collections.

Booklist - Emily Cook
Riveting and engrossing, Meloy's tale of a family struggling with guilt and forgiveness spans decades and crosses continents, proving her status as one of the best literary observers of contemporary American life.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Maile Meloy

If you liked A Family Daughter, try these:

  • The Blue Star jacket

    The Blue Star

    by Tony Earley

    Published 2009

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Jim Glass has fallen in love with his classmate Chrissie Steppe. Unfortunately, Chrissie is Bucky Bucklaw's girlfriend, and Bucky has joined the navy on the eve of war. Jim vows to win Chrissie's heart in his absence, but the war makes high school less than a safe haven and gives a young man's emotions a grown man's gravity.

  • The Pirate's Daughter jacket

    The Pirate's Daughter

    by Margaret Cezair-Thompson

    Published 2008

    About this book

    More books by this author

    In 1946, a storm-wrecked boat carrying Hollywood’s most famous swashbuckler shored up on the coast of Jamaica, and the glamorous world of 1940’s Hollywood converged with that of a small West Indian society.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Vanishing Half
    The Vanishing Half
    by Brit Bennett
    Brit Bennett's second novel, The Vanishing Half (after The Mothers, her 2016 bestselling debut), ...
  • Book Jacket
    Tropic of Violence
    by Nathacha Appanah
    Marie is a nurse working in Mayotte, a cluster of French territory islands in the Indian Ocean. When...
  • Book Jacket: Death in Mud Lick
    Death in Mud Lick
    by Eric Eyre
    When Eric Eyre, investigative and statehouse reporter for the Charleston Gazette-Daily, began ...
  • Book Jacket
    Orange World and Other Stories
    by Karen Russell
    Karen Russell has a tremendous gift for crafting uncanny, through-the-looking glass worlds that are ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Prisoner's Wife
    by Maggie Brookes

    Inspired by the true story of a courageous young woman who enters a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Last Flight
by Julie Clark

The story of two women and one agonizing decision that will change the trajectory of both of their lives.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The House on Fripp Island

The House on Fripp Island
by Rebecca Kauffman

A taut, page-turning novel of secrets and strife.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

M's T W!

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.