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Daughters [Paperback]

Elizabeth Buchan
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
RRP: £6.99
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Book Description

1 Mar 2012

It is a truth universally acknowledged that all mothers want to see their daughters happily settled.

But for Lara, mother to Maudie and stepmother to Jasmine and Eve, realizing this ambition has not been easy.

With an ex-husband embarking on a new marriage, and the surprising and late blooming developments in her own love life to contend with, Lara has enough to worry about, especially with Eve's upcoming wedding.

And when she begins to fear that Eve is marrying a man who will only make her unhappy, and Maudie reveals something that shocks the entire family, Lara faces the ultimate dilemma. Does she step in and risk the wrath of her daughters? Or does she stand by and watch them both make what she fears will be the biggest mistakes of their lives?

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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 (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging family story 7 Mar 2012
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Buchan I've read 17 Nov 2012
By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite so far 28 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a fan of Elizabeth Buchan's novels, loving her keen observations on the nuances of modern lives and the intricacies of contemporary relationships. Nothing is ever black or white as we come to understand what has shaped the various characters and why they behave as they do. I found this hard to put down, and it is my favourte so far.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thin stuff from a good writer 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and thoughtful read 13 Jun 2012
By Lisa-W
Format:Kindle Edition
On the run up to step-daughter Eve's wedding, Lara finds herself questioning events in the past that affected the lives of not just her but her ex husband, their children and his new wife.
Lara married Bill, a widow with two young daughters, promising not to have any more children in case she too should die in childbirth. Finding it impossible to keep this pledge and giving in to her own desire for children, Lara becomes pregnant with daughter Maudie and then with son Louis who dies and unwittingly throws the family into turmoil. The ripples of this tragedy have far reaching effects on the whole family and these are brought to the fore in the months's before Eve's wedding.

Buchan makes us question exactly what we should ask of someone we love and what we should promise and when a compromise should be reached. She handles the step family issues with insight, that despite Lara bringing up her step daughters as her own and the girls as sisters is there always a slight factor of blood over nurture no matter how much you love each other? And does family always come before everything else?

This was my first Elizabeth Buchan novel and I found it a very thoughtful piece of writing which I did enjoy.
The concept was good, modern day families being the theme and the relationships within that family. The issues raised, which were many, were valid and made sense and were written about with understanding and depth.
We get to know the characters very well and although none are particularly described as one thing or another, it nontheless comes through very clearly what they are like.
It was interesting how the decisions of one individual affect others and their decisions through life and quite clever how Elizabeth Buchan portrays that, quite subtley but insistently.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Daughters
This was one of those books that did not capture my interest in the first chapter and remains on the book shelf with a book mark in waiting for another attempt when there is... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rosalind Skelton
5.0 out of 5 stars definitely a woman's book
I have read many of Elizabeth Buchan's books and I just loved the relationship between Lara and her step daughters and her own daughter. Read more
Published 4 months ago by elais
5.0 out of 5 stars Daughters
This is an absorbing account of family interelationships, both with natural and extended families. The plot offers a shock near the beginning and proceeds to ravel and unravel the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by bluejay
1.0 out of 5 stars Flowery content and nothing happening
I have just finished this book and I dont know how I stuck it out to the end. I kept thinking something dramatic is going to happen.It never did. It was long and meandering. Read more
Published 11 months ago by m lyons
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story
I really enjoyed reading this book and could not put in down, another good book by Elizabeth Buchan, highly recommend.
Published 12 months ago by Shirley Spellar
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Just finished reading this book really enjoyed it.would recommend.to friend and family. Good story kept me interested through out book
Published 14 months ago by paige
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
Slow to start with but then gradually picked up. I can normally get into a story within the first couple of pages but this one took a bit longer.
Published 15 months ago by Marilyn Ann Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but not her best
Quite enjoyed this story but it didn't draw me in as some of her other books have. The focus was very much on the central character of the mother and her daughters and I found it... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Olga
4.0 out of 5 stars How true!!
As usual Elizabeth Buchan has produced a readable, enjoyable book. Hope she writes many more!!! I always enjoy her writing.
Published 17 months ago by I Hate Horseradish
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
gd read
Published 18 months ago by Mrs. Heather M. Haussauer
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