Dear Daughter – Elizabeth Little

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Janie owes everything to her mother.
Her looks. Her money.
Her murder conviction.

At 17 celebrity wild child Janie Jenkins was jailed for the murder of her mother. It was no secret she didn’t like her, but did she kill her?

Ten years later and Janie is out, her case overturned due to mishandling of evidence by the crime lab. Hiding from the media who believe she has escaped justice, Janie has travelled to a small town in the Black Hills, looking for the truth behind what happened that fateful night.

Following the tale of rich, pretty and overeducated celebrity Janie Jenkins in the days after her release from prison for the murder of her own mother, Dear Daughter grabs you firmly by the hand and doesn’t let go until you get to the end of this completely engrossing read. It’s a book chock full of contrasts, the socialite in the small town, the celebrity seeking anonymity, the sassy back chat against the quiet unassuming thought through response. It’s best displayed through protagonist Janie, a true wild child, constantly searching for the boundaries in the unlimited lifestyle of the privileged, who in order to find the truth, is forced to become the exact opposite of everything she has ever been.

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Dear Daughter also portrays brilliantly the dynamics of both large families and small communities. In the Black Hills town there are the age old feuds and fall outs amongst the families, the parental misunderstandings of the children, the sibling rivalries, together with the matriarchs that are seen to ‘hold these things together’, even if they don’t. There is some part of familial relationships in there that anyone reading this book will be able to relate to immediately. It shows a delightful amount of insight and only adds to the pleasure of reading this novel.

It’s an excellent debut you won’t want to put down once you have started and with Dear Daughter, Elizabeth Little has well and truly earned her place on my one to watch list.

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