I've been reading a lot of books about families lately, fiction and non-fiction memoirs. "The Murderer's Daughters" is the fictional account of two young sisters who are left alone after their father murders their mother and goes to prison for thirty years. The sisters are shunned by their mother's family and live for a few years in a girls' orphanage until fostered out to an affluent family. The two girls - Louise the older, Merredith the younger - are each other's only family and protectors. But Merry, also stabbed by her father in his attack on his wife, is also the only family her father has. Lulu shuns her father through adulthood, telling everyone her parents were killed in a car crash when the girls were young. Merry goes along with the story of her parents' deaths, but continues to visit her father in the NYC prison in which he is incarcerated.
When they grow up, Lulu goes to medical school and becomes part of a family by marrying a loving man and having two daughters. Merry drifts through life, working in the court system in Boston as a crime victims' advocate. She never marries and continues to visit her father. Merry's nieces - Lulu's daughters - are never told about their grandfather and the crime he committed until an incident at Merry's office reveal to the two girls the secret their parents and aunt have been concealing for thirty years.
The novel, told in both Merry and Lulu's voices through the years, is a very good account of the aftermath of one very bad crime, and how the repercussions echo through the succeeding generations. Thankfully, Lulu's two daughters receive therapy and are able to make sense of what has happened.
This book is not for everyone, but is very good reading for someone interested in family relations