This book was on a display for thrilling novels at a bookstore. On the top of the display was Girl on the Train. At the time I had not yet read that book but I knew it was going to be a good book so I decided to take note on the rest of the books on that self. My eyes were first drawn to this book on the shelf. That trip into the bookstore was just a window shopping trip though so I had to leave it in the store that time. But I went back and I got it! So prepare yourselves because I loved this book!
Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little follows former “It Girl” Jane Jenkins ten years after she was found guilty for murdering her mother. She was only 16 years old at the time she was convicted. Now, 26 years old, she is set free since her case was thrown out due to the mishandling of evidence. However, instead of just disappearing and living her life she has decided to go to a town that may have connections to her mother’s murder. But as she digs into the secrets of her mother’s past she can’t help but wonder if she is really as innocent as she believes.
This book was hilarious. Which I am sure comes as surprise based on the description above but it was hilarious. Jane’s character was this sarcastic girl that just did not want to deal with people after spending ten years in prison for a crime she wasn’t sure she committed. Watching her experience the world for the first time was great. Imagine leaving the world in 1993 and returning in 2013. So many changes! It was funny to see the perspective of someone who was not kept up to date on most things. Little pulled this off so well in my opinion. I think Jane’s character was written great.
I also appreciated that Jane’s character was smart, both book smart (she spent a lot of time in the prison library) and street smart. She knew how to manipulate people and did not have a perfect past before getting thrown in jail. That made me, as the reader, not quite sure whether to trust her or not. I was rooting for her. I wanted her to come out on top and prove the world wrong but at the same time I was not quite sure she was innocent. I think that is what Little wanted though. I think she wanted us to be a little wary of Jane.
Jane was not the only well done character in this book though. All of the side characters were complex and portrayed so well. I never quite knew who to trust. I over estimated some characters and under estimated others. Little did not play to small town stereotypes and it was so refreshing.
The plot was a little predictable near the end but not in a way that ruined the story line. It was still done well enough that the book was still enjoyable. I also appreciated the fact the ending was realistic. I hate clean endings but this one was not so clean but realistic. It was little slow at the beginning and if it weren’t for the humor I would not have read this book so fast.
I also enjoyed the break between the chapters where the author included a TMZ report or an interview with former friends to show the public’s perspective on Jane. It was very to similar to With Malice (although Dear Daughter came out first).
Overall, this was a fantastic book. If you want a suspenseful novel like Gone Girl but want a side of humor with it then this is the perfect book for you.