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Feature book: Daughter of Mine

18 April 2018

Daughter of Mine by Fiona Lowe

Subgenre: contemporary
Release date: 20 Feb 2017
Publisher: MIRA Australia
Format: print and ebook
Length: 435 pages

The opening line of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina reads: ‘Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way’. I instantly thought of this when I started reading Daughter of Mine. There are many secrets bubbling under the surface of the wealthy, seemingly happy, seemingly perfect, successful, influential Mannering family in Victoria’s Western District.

Three adult daughters—a surgeon, a sheep farmer’s wife and a schoolteacher—each struggle in different ways since their father’s death. Their mother is battling private issues plus her ever-hovering nemesis, depression. The girls don’t always get on; sometimes they have raging disagreements. But, so far, through thick and thin, they’ve managed to keep their heads up and soldier on with pride intact and the family integrity in their core.

Then suddenly it all begins to unravel in an astonishing deluge. Fiona Lowe, you must have had the most tremendous fun dreaming up how you could batter this family from every direction!

First their mother’s youthful lost love (who nobody knew about) reappears—and moves in with their mother. Loyal to their father’s memory, worried about their mother’s mental health and the obligatory keeping up of appearances in the district, this is a shocking turn of events. The girls don’t know how to process it.

To add to this, a sudden accusation of criminal embezzlement brings stunned chaos to the family. Then an unexpected pregnancy. Then—well, I don’t want to give the whole game away, no more spoilers, but the surprises and shocks just keep coming. Gasp-worthy shocks, exposing deep family lies and secrets (past and present) the girls simply weren’t aware of.

Reading how the family struggles—and it becomes a very real struggle—is very poignant. They are deeply hurt, exposed, shamed and put to the test. Family politics become volatile and explosive; rifts seem inevitable and vast.

And yet the heart of this story is family love. Fiona Lowe, how you turned the story around is amazing. The ending is a good ending, hopeful as this family rises like a phoenix from its ashes and rebuilds itself on the love it already had, secreted deep within—but never trusted before.

Bravo, Fiona. What a story.

reviewed by Malvina

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

  1. Lynette Williams permalink
    18 April 2018 9:32 am

    I have read this book and loved it –can recommend it to all—LynW

  2. 18 April 2018 8:25 am

    I too loved this book awesome 🙂

    Have Fun


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