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The Murderer's Daughters Hardcover – January 19, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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“How both sisters live, from the squalor of an orphanage to the empty silences of suburban living, is all too believable and heartbreaking because there is no acceptable answer for how to deal with one's part, as living victim, of a horrible crime” —Sarah Weinman, LA Times 'Knock-Out Debuts'
"Meyers delivers a clear-eyed, insightful story about domestic violence and survivor's guilt in "The Murderer's Daughters." It's an impressively executed novel, disturbing and convincing." —Diane White, Boston Globe
"Dives fearlessly into a tense and emotional story of two sisters anchored to one irreversible act of domestic violence. The narrative's dual narrators, Lulu and her younger sister Merry Zachariah, become innocent casualties when, in a terrifying scene relayed from Lulu's childhood perspective, their father murders their mother. Meyers painstakingly traces their lives to show just how much everyone else pays for that one act of violence.” —Christine Thomas, The Miami Herald
"Beautiful language balms the dark plot" —Daily Candy, Best New Winter Books
“The author delivers unshakable truths at every turn. . . Meyers, in a remarkably assured debut, details how the sisters process their grief in separate but similarly punishing ways." —Christian Toto, The Denver Post
"Much like Janet Fitch's White Oleander or Jacquelyn Mitchard's The Deep End of the Ocean, her book takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride. Readers, get out your handkerchief and prepare to care." — Library Journal Review
“As provocative as We Need to Talk About Kevin and as emotional as any Jodi Picoult novel.” —New Zealand Women’s Weekly
“A wonderful and thoughtful, wise novel.” —Annabelle, Germany
"A touching tale that will truly move you." —The Sun, UK
"The Murderer's Daughters is the unforgettable tale of Merry and Lulu, little sisters in sorrow, seared by their father's violence. Their heartbreaking story, which spans thirty years, will bring tears to your eyes...but there is a shining light of hope at the end of the tunnel." —Tatiana de Rosnay, New York Times bestselling author of Sarah's Key
"In her mesmerizing, empathic novel The Murderer's Daughters, Meyers explores the bond between two sisters clinging to each other in the aftermath of their mother's murder and their father's imprisonment...and how their bond is tested by the reappearance of the past. You won't be able to put it down." —Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us
"This wonderful, thought-provoking novel took hold of me on page one and never let me go. With lovely prose and an uncanny delicacy for such a horrific and oftentimes unspeakable topic, Randy Susan Meyers brilliantly succeeds in telling the untold story of what happens to the children of murder victims. Alternately told through the eyes of Lulu and Merry, the story spans over 30 years and gives us a rare ?A riveting read. . . Highly recommended." —Beth Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
"In The Murderer's Daughters Randy Susan Meyers tells the intricate and absorbing story of two sisters, one of whom regards herself as an orphan. I love the sweep of this novel, from childhood to adulthood, from pain to understanding, and how intimately Meyers knows her characters and brings them to life. I finished The Murderer's Daughters with the sense that I had been on the best kind of journey." —Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street, Winner 2009 L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award
More About the Author
My dreams of justice simmered at the fantastically broadminded Camp Mikan, where I went from camper to counselor, culminating in a high point when (with the help of my strongly Brooklyn-accented singing voice), I landed the role of Adelaide in the staff production of "Guys and Dolls."
Soon I was ready to change the world, starting with my protests at Tilden High and City College of New York, until I left to pursue the dream in Berkeley, California, where I supported myself by selling candy, nuts, and ice cream in Bartons of San Francisco. Then, world-weary at too-tender an age, I returned to New York, married, and traded demonstrations for diapers.
While raising two daughters, I tended bar, co-authored a nonfiction book on parenting, ran a summer camp, and (in my all-time favorite job, other than writing) helped resurrect and run a community center.
Once my girls left for college, I threw myself deeper into social service and education by working with batterers and victims of domestic violence. I'm certain my novels are imbued with all the above, as well as my journey from obsessing over bad boys to loving a good man.
Many things can save your life--children who warm your heart, the love of a good man, a circle of wonderful friends, and a great sister. After a tumultuous start in life, I'm lucky enough to now have all these things. I live in Boston with my husband, where I live by the words of Gustave Flaubert: "Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work."
My next novel, ACCIDENTS OF MARRIAGE releases on Sept 2. Kirkus, in a starred review, wrote: "Meyers puts a Boston family overwhelmed by a tragic accident under the literary microscope." In this book I examine the question: When is a marriage too broken to save?
My first novel, THE MURDERER'S DAUGHTERS was chosen as a Target Book Club Pick, Massachusetts "Must Read" Fiction, and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award, who wrote:
"From the very first page and straight on until the last, the clear and distinctive voice of Randy Susan Meyers's The Murderer's Daughters will have you enraptured and wanting more--even though self- preservation may curl you into a ball to shield yourself from the painful circumstances of the two sisters. This is a heart- breaking and powerful novel." Massachusetts Center for The Book,
My second novel, THE COMFORT OF LIES, released from Atria/Simon & Shuster in February 2013, a novel about an affair and the three very different women whose lives become intertwined in its aftermath: Tia, the woman who fell in love with a married man, got pregnant and gave the baby up for adoption; Juliet whose husband had the relationship with Tia; and Caroline, the woman who adopted the child that Tia couldn't bear to raise alone. These are three women who should never have met--and when they do, their lives collide in ways that none of them could have predicted.
The Boston Globe wrote: "Randy Susan Meyers's second novel is sharp and biting, and sometimes wickedly funny when the author skewers Boston's class and neighborhood dividing lines, but it has a lot of heart, too. Meyers writes beautifully about a formerly good marriage -- the simple joys of stability, the pleasures of veteran intimacy -- and deftly dissects just how ugly things can get after infidelity. The battles these women fight take place on a small stage, yet they're anything but trivial: saving a marriage, making a meaningful career, learning to parent. In the end, thanks to Meyers's astute, sympathetic observation, we want these women to win."
Top Customer Reviews
Because of their selfish, abusive father, these two sisters grow up shuffling between foster homes & relatives as well as living in constant fear that their father will be released from prison. Lulu feels terribly guilty for her mothers murder and feeling like she didn't protect her sister from her father, while Merry is confused about her feelings towards her father, which aren't what she or anyone would expect considering what he has done.
I absolutely LOVED this book - but not in a "warm fuzzy" way. More in a "I cannot get over this" sort of way. There were some parts of it where I could feel my pulse quicken because I got so into it, it's THAT good.
Spanning a 32-year period, "The Murderer's Daughters" follows the two girls' lives through a trying childhood into middle age as each eventually faces and overcomes the past. Lulu deals with her demons by compartmentalizing the trauma and denying the past in order to function in the present. She relies on her own inner strength and her intelligence to become a successful doctor. With the exception of Merry, Lulu allows only one individual, her husband Drew, to learn the truth and to see behind the façade she has created. Merry, convinced that their father needs family, accompanies her grandmother and visits the prison every other week as a child; she continues the contact even after her grandmother's death. Unable to trust a man, Merry moves from one superficial sexual relationship to another; her affair with a married man remains the one constant, yet unfulfilling, relationship. Even her professional life is governed by her past - Merry has become a parole officer and seeks ways to rehabilitate, to "save," her parolees. A hostage crisis, involving Lulu's daughters and taking place in Merry's office, finally forces both women to confront their past and to move forward.Read more ›
Lulu, a tenacious bright girl, protected her pretty sister who was consumed with guilt and no direction. Merry visited her father in prison (Lulu did not) to seek his approval, to maintain a connection, to find answers, but she was used by her father, too. He played a part; he would keep up his "Hi Sugar Pop, Cocoa Puff" sweet talk to gain some allegiance from his daughter, and it worked with Merry. The regulations, the other visitors, the physical building of the prison would forever make Merry an "expert" prison visitor.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was truly a book I did not want to put down or end. Two women, same mother and father but handling life in different ways. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Peggy Hurd
The story follows two girls, Lulu and Merry, who are devastated by a tragic event. At the young age of 9, Lulu has to find help when she hears her mother scream, “He’s going to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Well written, but I have to say it started to drag in the middle. It wasn't till I finished the book that I understood why. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Cindy Good
By the time I finish the book, I knew Lulu and Merry very well. Their sisterly relationship warmed my heart. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Micki Morency
I so wanted to like this novel. Having read other books by the author, I anticipated that this would be a good read. It was not. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Elaine J.