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The Good Daughters: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, August 24, 2010
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Two families, the Planks and the Dickersons, are mysteriously entwined in this exquisite novel that centers on decades of life at a New Hampshire farm. Youngest daughters Ruth Plank and Dana Dickerson, born on the same day in the same hospital, take turns narrating the struggles they face as children. Ruth feels a coldness from her mother; Dana is unsettled by her kooky parents constantly uprooting her and her brother Ray. Regardless, the Planks pay a yearly visit to the Dickersons no matter where they've ended up living. As the girls come of age, Ruth takes an interest in art, sex, and Dana's brother, Ray, with whom she later reunites, at Woodstock, in a swirl of drugs and mud. Meanwhile, Dana realizes that her desires are directed toward women and sets off to pursue agricultural studies at a university, where she meets Clarice, an assistant professor. As time goes by, the floundering Plank Farm is in danger of being seized by Ruth's former boyfriend, a man who has had his eye on the land for years. As Ruth and Dana pursue love, contemplate children, and search for home, the truth of what unites their families is finally--at long last--revealed, in this beautifully written book.
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In her seventh novel (after Labor Day, 2009), Maynard tells an evocative story of two babies born on the same day in the same hospital to two starkly different families. Ruth, dreamy and artistic, is born into a pragmatic farm family, while Dana, interested in plants and animals, seems more grown up than her flighty parents, who are constantly moving. Nevertheless, Ruth’s mother makes a point of visiting Dana’s family almost every year, wherever they are, calling the two girls “birthday sisters.” As the years pass, Ruth finds the love of her life and tragically loses him, eventually settling for marriage with an insurance salesman and a home on the family farm near her beloved father. Dana finds love with a female college professor and success selling her own goat cheese and strawberries at a small farm stand. Although Maynard relies on a central plot contrivance that strains credulity, she consistently brings emotional authenticity to the long arc of her characters’ lives and to the joy and loss they experience. A profoundly moving chronicle of the primacy of family connection. --Joanne Wilkinson
Top customer reviews
Well written plus addressing issues of today without over-emphasis or over-indulgence to author's point of view. Reader travels along with the story, interested, observant and educated. We, like characters, grow by story's end.