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Daughters Paperback – 1 Mar 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718157990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718157999
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 242,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elizabeth Buchan began her career as a blurb writer at Penguin Books after graduating from the University of Kent with a double degree in English and History. She moved on to become a fiction editor at Random House before leaving to write full time. Her novels include the prizewinning Consider the Lily - reviewed in the Independent as 'a gorgeously well written tale: funny, sad and sophisticated'. A subsequent novel, Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman became an international bestseller and was made into a CBS Primetime Drama. Later novels included The Second Wife, Separate Beds and Daughters. Her latest, I Can't Begin to Tell You, a story of resistance in wartime Denmark was published in 2014.
Elizabeth Buchan's short stories are broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in magazines. She reviews for the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail, and has chaired the Betty Trask and Desmond Elliot literary prizes. She was a judge for the Whitbread First Novel Award and for the 2014 Costa Novel Award . She is a patron of the Guildford Book Festival and of The National Academy of Writing, and sits on the author committee for The Reading Agency.

Product Description

About the Author

Elizabeth Buchan is the author of eleven previous novels, including the bestselling and prize-winning Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman, That Certain Age and The Second Wife, all of which received rave reviews. She lives in London with her husband and children.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Lougrahamii on 7 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a book that approaches that question I often ask myself, How would I cope bringing up other people's children? As a single Mother of a daughter, I wonder how I would feel about someone elses child coming into our tight little circle and I can't help thinking Elizabeth has addressed many of the questions that I have previously thought which made the story so much more real to me.

Lara is a mother to three grown up girls of which two are her Step Children. Throughout their lives she has treated them as her own, but is that how they see it and how does those feelings effect their relationship with their half Sister?

Elizabeth has beautifully written a wonderful, thought-provoking novel about a family who are all entering the next chapter of their lives, whether that is marriage, college or moving home. Such amazing observations from each of the character's perspective. Whilst Lara is clearly the leading lady of this book, each daughter, the ex husband and new partners all have their own story that threads through the pages. All struggling with the same taboo subject, the thing that is never discussed. They are all strong people in their own way, each have hidden insecurities that make them do what they do as your turn the pages of this book.

This is not a laugh out loud easy breezy Chick Lit, but instead an extremely engaging story that I believe will make you look around and think of your relationships with your Mother's, Sisters and Daughters as it certainly has me. A truly fabulous book that pulls you into this family with every page.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sharon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 April 2012
Format: Paperback
Despite its title this book is not just about the daughters of the family it's actually all about the relationships within a blended family. The lynchpin of the family is Lara, ex-wife to Bill, stepmother to Jasmine and Eve and mother to Maudie.

Lara has brought up Jasmine and Eve as her own ever since she first met Bill when the girls were young, after his first wife had died, and has always treated them as her own daughters rather than stepdaughters. So much so that when the marriage broke down, it was decided that it would be best for both girls to remain with her and their sister Maudie.

Now that the girls are all grown up, Lara is having to deal with empty nest syndrome after youngest daughter Maudie announces that she's applied to go to university in the States meaning that she'll be on her own for the first time in years. This makes her taking a look at her own life and it's obvious from the start that there's still a lot of healing left to be done before she can consider moving on.

But as a mother can she ever stop worrying about her children? She's worried for Eve, who is rapidly turning into a Bridezilla during the planning of her wedding, as she's not sure that her fiance Andrew is the right man for her daughter. When she tries to talk to her about her concerns this just puts a strain on their own relationship.

Meanwhile eldest daughter Jasmine is beginning to wonder if her own relationship with Duncan is going anywhere as he doesn't seem to want to take the next step in their relationship of living together. She knows that she loves him but isn't sure if she can wait forever to get her happy ever after.

This book pulled me in from the start as it's not just about the family dynamics but it also deals with a lot of complex issues such as death and bereavement, marriage, infidelity and divorce and the impact that they have on the whole family.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Penelope Simpson on 29 Mar. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
'So what was that all about?' I asked myself when I finished the book this morning. A good proposition, some potentially interesting characters, one or two good set pieces... and yet. Somehow it never took off for me. Perhaps there were just two many stereo types, but I think for me it was my inability to empathise with the main character, the saintly Lara. She somehow grated and yet never came to life - a woman obsessed with children to the point of still making them packed lunches as grown-ups, yet also apparently effortlessly becoming a therapist without putting any of what she learned into practice in her own life. I also wondered if there weren't too many characters who were consistently present but never fleshed out. At times I had to keep stopping and asking myself 'who?'

I like Buchan's writing but wonder if maybe I've outgrown it? It all seemed thin gruel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
Elizabeth Buchan is on good form in this novel about a middle-aged divorcee coming to terms with her daughters growing up, and her life changing.

Lara, Buchan's heroine, married Bill when she was very young. He was a widower, whose wife had died having their second daughter. Lara, lively and determined, took on Bill and the children (the younger, Eve, still a baby), made a great success of their lives, and finally managed to persuade Bill to let them have a daughter of their own, Maudie. Then, several years later, Lara did something that her husband saw as a betrayal - and a betrayal that had unforeseen tragic consequences. A few years later the couple split up, and Bill drifted into an affair with Violet (I'd love to know if it's the same Violet from 'Perfect Love') and later settled down with the admirable Sarah. Lara reared all three girls, tried to maintain a friendly relationship with Bill and trained as a therapist. For years the girls were the centre of her life.

Now, with Jasmine, the eldest, settled working in a prestigious job for a marketing firm, and with a steady banker boyfriend, Eve about to be married to another wealthy banker, Andrew, Maudie announcing that she wants to go to Harvard, not an English university, and Bill and Sarah finally getting married, Lara realizes that it's time for the focus of her life to change. Her fellow therapist Robin, a former soldier, offers companionship and perhaps something more - but will Lara be prepared to take the risk? Will she and Bill be able to face up to the reasons for their split, now Bill's happily married? And can Lara ever really let go of her daughters - particularly when she learns something about Eve's fiance that she is sure will make Eve unhappy?
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