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THE MURDERER’S DAUGHTERS By: Randy Susan Meyers April 12, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.
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     The Lycan Librarian stopped short upon stumbling across this 2009 book because the title is so disconcerting, especially when set against the cheerful book jacket art. But the title is painfully accurate. THE MURDERER’S DAUGHTERS was written by Randy Susan Meyers, a Brooklyn native who worked with batterers, domestic violence victims, and at-risk youth impacted by family violence. The culmination of much that she has seen and heard at her job is within the pages of this novel, making this an intelligent and realistic work. Additional depth is achieved by the story being told in turn by Lulu and Merry.

    The day Lulu’s father stabs her mother to death and critically stabs her little sister, Merry, in the chest, is the one before her tenth birthday. It was Lulu who had admitted her father to the apartment after being told not to, so the weight of this guilt stays always with her. The manner in which the girls, as their father’s daughters, are treated by their mother’s family is every bit as disturbing as the despicable act performed by their father. When their aunt chooses to no longer care for them because she can’t stand to look at them, they are sent to a group home where they fend for each other against the damaged and wounded girls who hail from a sordid assortment of broken and vanished families.
     The girls are finally adopted by a wealthy family, but never allow themselves to fully feel a part of the clan. Meanwhile, they still have to deal with their imprisoned father, who wants to maintain a relationship with them. One sister chooses to pretend he’s dead and not have him in her life at all, and the other, through either duty or fear, puts her life perpetually on hold to maintain her frequent prison visits. As the story develops and time goes on, the sisters clamor through relationships and careers wrestling with their self-worth. The book explores the effects such traumatic circumstances have on people, and demonstrates that dressing in nice clothes, and pushing oneself down a path that makes you appear fine is not necessarily proof that one is healed.

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