Sunday, June 19, 2011
A shocking act of violence leaves two young sisters with nothing but each other.
Mama was 'no macaroni-necklace-wearing kind of mother.' She was a lipstick and perfume-wearing mother, a flirt whose estranged husband still hungered for her. After Mama threw him out, she warned the girls to never let Daddy in the house, an admonition that tears at ten-year-old Lulu whenever she thinks about the day she opened the door for her drunken father, and watched as he killed her mother, stabbed her five-year-old sister Merry and tried to take his own life.
Effectively orphaned by their mother's death and father's imprisonment, Lulu and Merry, unwanted by family members and abandoned to a terrifying group home, spend their young lives carrying more than just the visible scars from the tragedy. Even as their plan to be taken in by a well-to-do foster family succeeds, they come to learn they'll never really belong anywhere or to anyone - that all they have to hold onto is each other.
As they grow into women, Lulu holds fast to her anger, denies her father's existence and forces Merry into a web of lies about his death that eventually ensnares her own husband and daughters. Merry, certain their safety rests on placating her needy father, dutifully visits him, seeking his approval and love at the expense of her own relationships. As they strive to carve lives of their own, the specter of their father, unrepentant and manipulative even from behind bars, haunts them. And when they learn he's about to be paroled, the house of cards they've built their lives on teeters on the brink of collapse.
The is an adult novel, but it reads somewhat like a YA story as the alternating point of views, go back and forth between the two sisters from the time they are young girls until they are adult women. Meyers has a vivid, intimate writing style that draws you into the sad world of these sisters and keeps you there. You're sucked into their very thoughts and feelings as you try to guess how this saga is going to play out. It is a very realistic take on a horrible situation and Meyer doesn't sugar coat it. Perhaps that's because the root of this story is based on the author's own experience--a father that tried to kill her own mother and her work with violent men at a Batterer Intervention program. Her protagonists have two very different reactions to the murder and that too makes sense. I leaned toward one, more than the other and know how I wanted the story to end. Meyers keeps it real, and there are no easy answers or neatly wrapped conclusions.
The Murderer's Daughters truly is a testament to the power of family and the ties that bind us together, even as they threaten to tear us apart.
If you'd like a chance to win this book, leave a comment that answers this question: Could you forgive your father for killing your mother? Would you even try? Don't forget to leave your email address. That is all.
The Murder's Daughters released February 1, 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin
Giveaway open to residents of the US only. It ends Wednesday, June 22, 2011.