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Dear Daughter [Hardcover]

Elizabeth Little
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
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Book Description

14 Aug 2014

'As soon as they processed my release Noah and I hit the ground running. A change of clothes. A wig. An inconspicuous sedan. We doubled back once, twice, then drove south when we were really headed east. In San Francisco we had a girl who looked like me board a plane to Hawaii.

Oh, I thought I was so clever.

But you probably already know that I’m not.'

LA IT girl Janie Jenkins has it all. The looks, the brains, the connections. The criminal record.

Ten years ago, in a trial that transfixed America, Janie was convicted of murdering her mother. Now she's been released on a technicality she's determined to unravel the mystery of her mother's last words, words that send her to a tiny town in the very back of beyond. But with the whole of America’s media on her tail, convinced she's literally got away with murder, she has to do everything she can to throw her pursuers off the scent.

She knows she really didn't like her mother. Could she have killed her?


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Secker (14 Aug 2014)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1846558166
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846558160
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"A really gutsy, clever, energetic read, often unexpected, always entertaining. I loved Janie Jenkins’s sassy voice and Elizabeth Little’s too. In the world of crime novels, Dear Daughter is a breath of fresh air" (Kate Atkinson)

"Dear Daughter has three of my favorite things in a book: a smart, damaged, unstoppable narrator with a slicing sense of humor; needle-sharp writing that brings characters and atmosphere leaping off the page; and a vivid, original plot full of satisfying twists. This is an all-nighter, and the best debut mystery I've read in a long time" (Tana French)

"The real pleasure of this novel is its main character. As narrator, Janie is razor sharp, amoral and fizzing with coal-black wisecracks… A very modern and very funny take on a murder mystery" (Deidre O'Brien Sunday Mirror)

"With a compelling cast of superbly drawn characters, a serpentine plot and crackling dialogue laced with stark, pungent asides, Dear Daughter defies you to put it down" (Geoffrey Wansell Daily Mail)

"This crime fiction début is the real deal. Unreliable narrator? Check. Plot twists? Yup. Razor-sharp writing? That, too... A thrilling, gripping read" (Glamour)

"Every year a few books stand out. This is one of them" (Sun)

"With a narrator so unreliable you suffer from constant seasickness, and the same fizzy sense of the media tracking the case that gave Gone Girl such edge, this is the thriller of the summer… This is so damn good that it’s worth going on holiday with someone you hate, just so you can ignore them all week" (Alexandra Heminsley The Debrief)

"A clever, witty thriller you’ll want to gobble up in one go" (Good Housekeeping)

"This amazing book is like Gone Girl meets Gossip Girl - it's gonna be HUGE!" (Company)

"Clever… razor-sharp" (Metro)

Book Description

THE book of the summer. From the publishers of The Never List comes a brilliantly sharp, clever and hugely enjoyable thriller. You might fight with your mother, Janie Jenkins might have killed hers.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Basically just irritating 4 Oct 2014
By Nicola in South Yorkshire TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Jane Jenkins was accused and convicted of her mother's murder in 2003. Ten years later, she is released due to the discovery of forensic irregularities. She then sets out to find out what really happened and to try and prove her innocence.

I was really keen to read this book but I was quite disappointed. Jane is an extremely annoying, spoilt brat of a character. I'm sure that's how the author meant her to be, but she was thoroughly unlikeable. However, despite that, I somehow wanted to carry on reading and find out what happened at the end. I did like the bits of interview, book extracts, media reports at the beginning of some of the chapters, and I thought they were a nice touch. Overall, I can't say I enjoyed this book - it seemed to be trying too hard to be clever but it was basically just irritating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tepid read 29 Sep 2014
By Chantal Lyons VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First impressions count, and books are no exception. So my heart really sunk when, within the first few pages of this one, an opinion poll is described in which "87 percent of respondents 'strongly believe' that Jenkins is responsible for her mother's murder... the other 13 percent "really strongly believe"' she's guilty. Really? Not even a "7 percent undecided" or "12 percent disagree"? This far-fetched little piece of information sets the tone for the rest of the story. Maybe I'm demanding a bit too much of a thriller. But then again, I've been reminded of why I tend not to read thrillers. In their attempts to graft reality on, they feel less real than the fantasy and SF I usually read.

OK, so if it's not realistic, is it gripping? Hmm... patchily. Hard work at the start, better in the second half, and then a bit too silly in the end to be taken seriously. Credit to the author though for an uncompromising resolution at the very end that doesn't go down the way most thrillers take. Also, the book made me laugh, once.

There's two other problems - a) the old male characters are hard to distinguish and I just ended up getting really confused between Mitch, Stanton and Eli; b) Janie Jenkins is horrible. That isn't ambiguous, unlike the question of whether she actually did murder her mother - at one point she admits to the reader that she engineered her boyfriend's non-fatal drug overdose just to raise her media profile. It's okay to make your narrator horrible as long as it's done in a way that makes the reader love them for it. In this case, I didn't care. Gone Girl it isn't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Wow, I believed the hype but hated this. I won't rehash other reviewers' references to much plot, and I'll keep it brief.

Too many characters, none of whom were interesting or likeable.

Jane/Rebecca wasn't 'on the run', so why should I care if someone is trying to find her? She was released from prison - she didn't escape!

Boring, overlong dialogue, half of which didn't lend itself to anything.

Plot taken from any old episode of Dallas/Dynasty/Knots Landing etc. I don't think what someone's real name was or who's really someone's father is interesting at all.

Using a diary is a cheap and tired device.

Hated it. Could almost give it two stars out of sheer pity.
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Format:Hardcover
Book Review: Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little
Before I got too far into this book I felt such a dislike for the main character that I nearly stopped reading – she was nasty, spoilt, manipulative and downright arrogant. However, through flashbacks and scene change, Little gradually showed a different side to the character.
After spending ten years in prison for murdering her mother, Jane Jenkin's conviction is overturned due to forensic error. A head injury leaves her unsure whether she actually committed the murder or not and so she decides to investigate her mother’s enigmatic past to discover the truth. However, a venomous Blogger is convinced of her guilt and is determined to track her down to exact revenge.
The setting of an old mining town Ardelle is intriguing because there is a replica town called Adeline (now disused) built on another site so that folk could move from one site to the other depending on where mining was occurring at the time- fascinating

The story introduces us to a whole range of great characters from the sexy town Sheriff to the strange hotel owner and her wayward daughter.

Dear Daughter is a tricky little book, full of misdirection and ambiguity which kept me guessing till the lovely twist at the end.

It's written in first person with a healthy dose of humour, rhetorical questions making the reader feel part of this fast paced story.

A big recommendation to those who like the quirky, comic, yet serious crime book based in tight communities.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great plot 12 Sep 2014
By H. Eaton VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was very excited by this book - it has a great premise and (I know we're expected to pretend not to care, but in this case it really stands out) a great cover. The blue tones on the cover are striking against the black and white and I really love it!

Anyway, none of that matters really - it's the story you want a review of, not my initial expectations!

The story starts with the release of Janie Jenkins from prison. Years ago she was convicted of murdering her mother and the trial was avidly followed by the whole country. Her mother was a famous socialite so the case had a high profile. You get a sense of the characters' backgrounds from the quote at the very beginning of the book - 'some girls are born with glitter in their veins' (a quote from none other than Paris Hilton.)

Without giving too much away, Janie gets off on a technicality and tries to disappear from public attention while she investigates what really happened to her mother - she has no idea even whether or not she might have killed her mother herself.

It's a good story and it kept my attention to the end, but I wasn't at all keen on the writing style ... it was just trying to hard to be funny/witty (dare I say it?) sassy. Irritating. But the plot was enough to keep me going so I'm giving it 3 stars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
This author tried to be too clever, it didn't work
Published 2 days ago by Mrs C.
4.0 out of 5 stars This book was a really good read in that characters were a little...
This book was a really good read in that characters were a little different with just a hint into their underlying characters - I loved it!!
Published 3 days ago by Freda Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Great anti-heroine
“My mother was throwing some event for whatever charity she was pretending to care about. Special needs dolphins or unattractive children or whatever”
There in a nutshell was... Read more
Published 10 days ago by angelao
2.0 out of 5 stars Would not recommend it.
Very disappointing. Would not recommend it.
Published 11 days ago by Lillie Sharp
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and different.
This book is written in a first person narrative, to start with I found the character Jane Jenkins annoying and thought I would not be able to read the whole book. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Mrs. T. SALMON
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor in every way
This has been the most boring and poorly written book that I have read in a long time. The characters were unbelievable and unpleasant. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!
As you can see from the blurb, the book is told in the first person narrative of Jane Jenkins AKA Janie Jenkins and starts when she is released from prison for the murder of her... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Rebecca Bradley
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder Mystery caper
This book had been on my wish list for months so I was very excited to receive a copy.

Jane Jenkins is an American teen socialite when she is convicted of her mother's... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Joey
4.0 out of 5 stars Kept my interest throughout.........
This book is worth reading. I did not like the central character Jane, or indeed most of the other characters but it had an interesting story. Read more
Published 29 days ago by JuliaPeculiar
4.0 out of 5 stars Good plot but awful heroine.
A murder mystery set in the USA. A daughter, found guilty of her mothers murder, is released from prison on a technicality, and sets about trying to find the real killer. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jo Hatfield
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