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Dear Daughter Hardcover – 14 Aug 2014

3.7 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Secker (14 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846558166
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846558160
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 368,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Gone Girl meets Mean Girls" (Glamour)

"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)

"Dark, sharp and witty" (Emma Hunt & Claire Frost Sun)

"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)

"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)

"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)

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

"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)

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

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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By KarenD VINE VOICE on 1 Dec. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Janie Jenkins had always had a tempestuous relationship with her mother, the murdered socialite Marion Elsinger. Janie appeared to be a duplicitous and unlikeable person - so much so that at first I didn't really care whether she had killed her mother. However reading on, I found myself sucked into the story and my opinion of Janie started to change with her sarcastic and spikey comments even becoming slightly amusing.

After ten years in jail for a murder that she may (or may not) have committed, Janie Jenkins is released on a technicality although she will not be allowed to continue with her life in peace. A news reporter/blogger has been hounding her during her time in prison and is continuing to try and track her every move and it's down to Janie to keep one step ahead.

With snatches of memory returning of that night, and armed with a new identity, Janie sets out to try and find out whether she did actually kill her own mother. She discovers that her mother had withheld a lifetime of secrets and in fact had accumulated her share of enemies over the years.

I didn't really know what to make of this book - the first half of the book was a little too slow to make this a wholly enjoyable read. Recalling some vague memory from the past, Janie starts her search by heading for an old mining town called Ardelle. Some of the inhabitants of this small backwater town that Janie encounters seemed rather stereotypical - a few seemed just weird and creepy and I wasn't sure who could be trusted. Janie's interactions with them became interesting in that she had to reinvent herself in order to find out the information she needed. Being nice to people was something totally out of character for Janie.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like books with character development, depth and a sensible plot then this book is definitely not for you.

The main character is shallow, petty and thinks she's a lot wittier and cooler than she is. For someone so skinny - as we are frequently told - she talks an awful lot about food. There is no redemptive journey here and she doesn't emerge a better person at the end.

The supporting cast are so thinly drawn I couldn't keep track of who they were or why they mattered. The plot relies on a series of absurd coincidences to progress and the ending is frankly ridiculous.

Could have been so much better in a more capable author's hands.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this pretty un-put-down-able, and read it in a day. I loved the character of Jane/Rebecca, and thought it was a pretty good story. Unfortunately it descended into silliness in the last couple of chapters and I found the ending very unsatisfying, otherwise would have given it five stars.
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Format: Hardcover
There have already been several comparisons drawn between Dear Daughter and a certain mystery thriller with a rather unlikable sociopath female lead character. And whilst I can see the similarities, there are also several differences between that book and Dear Daughter.

Janie Jenkins was an incredibly spoilt, manipulative and caustic teenager – and not much has changed in the ten years she has spent in prison for the murder of her mother. As twisted as that may sound it’s precisely why I liked Janie a lot – she’s fully aware of her own issues and the fact that most people don’t like her, and she plays upon it for her own gain. She’s full of snotty, sarcastic comebacks and her agenda is purely her own, and although she never comes out and admits that she likes anyone, or even behaves as anything like a friend, she’s also very open. There’s a lot to be said for a well written character like Janie, and Little does a great job in creating a character that’s easy to love to hate.

Set almost primarily in a small South Dakota town that has more mysteries than you could imagine, the secondary characters are also a standout in Dear Daughter – Janie’s lawyer, the people she meets as she tries to unravel the mysteries of her mother’s past, and the bystanders that are seemingly innocent – all are larger than life and equal parts likeable and despicable. In that respect, Dear Daughter felt perfectly balanced.

There are media excerpts throughout the book too, which really threw a different light on Janie, her past and her present, and I think they really added an extra dimension that made me enjoy the book even more.
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