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Daughters (Five Star Paperback) Paperback – October 15, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This richly textured, intelligent, emotionally involving novel will add to Marshall's ( Praisesong for the Widow ) stature both as a prose writer and as a sensitive chronicler of lives of people of color. Daughter of "the PM," a charismatic politician on the West Indian island of Triunion, and the American-born woman he married, Ursa MacKenzie thinks her life is "a series of double exposures . . . the same things repeated everywhere she turns." Ursa, a freelance consumer researcher living in Manhattan, is disillusioned when she returns to a city that had been the focus of a previous study and finds that the black politician she had admired has sold out to real estate developers. Meanwhile, back home in Triunion, her formerly incorruptible father is cooperating with white developers in plans for a glitzy resort that will despoil the environment and sacrifice the well-being of the poverty-stricken people of his district. Ursa is also anguished over her decision to have an abortion, especially as she herself was born only after her mother endured a series of miscarriages. Marshall is meticulous with details, whether building a scene or the texture of a life. A cast of secondary characters both in New York and in Triunion are as complexly nuanced, as fallible yet appealing as the protagonists. A subtext is the subtle racism that blacks endure, even those who seem solidly upper-middle-class. Though it grapples with tough questions, the novel gives no pat answers; the ambiguous ending reinforces Marshall's clear-sighted candor. Author tour.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Like her previous works, Marshall's fourth novel intertwines the culture of blacks in the United States and in the West Indies. The book deftly shifts back and forth between New York City, home of Ursa Beatrice Mackenzie, and the Caribbean island Triunion, Ursa's birthplace and home of her father, a political reformer known simply as the PM, and her American-born mother Estelle. When the story opens, Ursa has just had an abortion and is about to end a stagnant relationship with her long-time boyfriend. She is called to Triunion by Estelle in an attempt to deter the PM from making a deal that could ruin his career. In this well-told story, Marshall, creator of such memorable characters as Selina Boyce in Brown Girl, Brownstones (Feminist Pr., 1981) and Avey Johnson in Praisesong for the Widow ( LJ 1/83), again provides numerous complex, engaging portraits, especially of the people of Triunion. Highly recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/16/91.
- Louis J. Parascandola, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn Campus
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Five Star Paperback
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (October 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852427787
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852427788
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,448,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book manages to about some of the real concerns of being hemmed in by values that are imposed upon women, particularly black women. One of the truest pictures of the anxiety that besets a woman trying to juggle inter-generational relationships across countries.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
Daughters reads very slowly. The book is filled with several interesting scenarios. However, they go undeveloped. The scenarios share no common link except that they involve the same characters. There seems to be no purpose to the book; including the title. (There was only one daughter.) I was determined to finish because I wanted to know the point. There wasn't one. Like Seinfield, this book is about nothing but it's a whole lots less funny, uneventful, and boring.
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