Book Title and Author: The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda
Publication Date and Publisher: May 21, 2019 by Graydon House
Genre: Mystery, Psychological Suspense, Fiction
Pages: 368 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: May 3, 2019 (e-arc)
The perfect home. The perfect family. The perfect lie.
Jane Harris lives in a sparkling home in an oceanfront gated community in Orange County. It’s a place that seems too beautiful to be touched by sadness. But exactly one year ago, Jane’s oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of anti-depressants, she’s barely even left the house. Now that’s all about to change.
It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary and three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days—and nights—at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl—dutiful and loving. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed?
The bonds between mothers and daughters, and husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together…
The Favorite Daughter is delightfully and deliciously wicked! Kaira Rouda certainly knows how to write diabolical, yet charming characters (remember Paul Strom from the Best Day Ever?) who you just cannot help but love and hate at the same time!
Meet Jane, the over the top, wildly unreliable narrator in Rouda’s newest book. A year ago she lost her oldest daughter Mary in a drowning accident after she fell off some cliffs. Since then Jane has been in a grief-stricken haze, relying on pills to get by, and never leaving her house except to go to therapy and run errands with the help of a personal driver. Her younger daughter, Betsy is days from graduating high school, and Jane suddenly decides to make her return to society. Not only that, she decides it’s time to reclaim her husband’s wandering attention and bring her loving family together once again…
Jane’s a one of a kind character. You’ll be laughing at her crazy antics while despising her at the same time. She’s hard not to love but you know she’s a train wreck about to go off the rails. Her ego is beyond belief as she personally regales us, the reader, telling us how beautiful and desirable she is, what a great wife and mother she is, and asks us if we agree with her.
I’m not going to tell any more of the plot here because I’m not going to ruin it! Let’s just say that Jane doesn’t like secrets kept from her or things not going her way, after all, appearances are everything for a narcissist! Exactly how far will a narcissist like Jane go is the most fun about this book. Let’s just say, Jane is one of those people for whom revenge is always sweet.
I absolutely loved this! Rouda is a smart writer with a mastery of writing suspense. She’s deftly plotted an addictive, page-turning novel filled with dark humor, so it was comical while being disturbing and thrilling at the same time. Definitely add it to your must-read list this summer!
**Thank you, Edelweiss and Harper Collins/Graydon House for an ARC to read in exchange for a fair and honest review.**