Sunday, June 19, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers

Last year, before I read this book, I met the author, Randy Susan Meyers at a writers conference. I won second place in a contest there and she was so enthused about my writing and quite complementary.  I was so honored. I attended one of her workshops and was intrigued to read her book, The Murderer's Daughters.  The title is certainly attention worthy and I was keen to learn what it was all about.

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.



  1. Could you forgive your father for killing your mother? No.

    Would you even try? No--"the specter of their father, unrepentant and manipulative even from behind bars" is fair warning of why not to try.

    Email response should generate email address.

  2. No I would never, ever forgive my father killing my mother. Never in a million, so no I would not ever even try. This would be an act that could not be forgiven, and this book sounds really good. I would love to win it!

  3. My father actually almost did once. I did forgive him for that and many other things. Now, my mother I have never forgiven for other reasons. It is odd, how sometimes things work out that way.

  4. No I don't think that I would but I might try.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. I don't think I would forgive or would even try, but then again you never know what you would do if it actually happened to you!

    follow on gfc

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  6. Could I forgive my father for killing my mother? That is a really tough question. I am extremely close to my dad, so I would have to say yes.

    sassysasha817 at gmail dot com

  7. I could never forgive a crime like that ever.
    No one has the right to kill anyone.
    This book has a strong storyline and I would like to get a chance to read it.
    I follow by google reader under cenya2.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

  8. I couldn't forgive anyone for killing someone I loved and that includes my father.

    I'm a GFC follower.

    reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

  9. I read about this book on another blog recently and it sounds amazing. I'm having a hard time even fathoming the idea of a man killing the mother of his child(ren), so I'm going to say no, forgiveness probably wouldn't come easily.

  10. Amazing book review. I am adding this one to my TBR list. Donna

    I have a give away on my blog and would love for you to visit and enter. Thanks.

  11. Very nice review. This sounds like a story that calls for a box of tissue as you read it. I'd hate to have to make a decision like that.

  12. If I've learned anything, it's to never say never. Though I can't imagine being able to forgive my father for murdering my mother, I know that over time -- a looooooooong time -- I might just find a way. I've been curious about this book for awhile, so thanks very much for the opportunity to win a copy!

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

  13. I guess no one really knows what they would do until actually presented with the situation. I would like to say that I would not be able to forgive a terrible act like that. The damage it would inflict on a child would be insurmountable. Growing up with that kind of damage, I'm not sure I would try to forgive.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Looks scary but good.


    I will be having two different giveaways on my starting tomorrow and one posted right now.

    STOP BY.


  15. Nice review and book sounds good. i like this book.

  16. Amazing book review and i am going to bookmark this site.

  17. June,
    Thanks so much for this intense and deep look at my book. I truly appreciate everything you had to say . . . and look forward to reading more of your writing.
    Warm regards,

  18. I didn't know that this was in part based on the author's own experience ... wow. I thought this was a well-written exploration; I really didn't like the father, especially since he NEVER ever took responsibility for what he did - such a weak man, but I guess all batterers and abusers are essentially week and narcissistic, so I shouldn't have been surprised by that.

    Wonderful review!

  19. Thanks Julie. I glad you learned something new!


I enjoy reading what you have to say. Seriously!