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A Family Daughter: A Novel af Maile Meloy
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A Family Daughter: A Novel (udgave 2007)

af Maile Meloy

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
269974,446 (3.41)1
It's 1979, and seven-year-old Abby, the youngest member of the close-knit Santerre family, is trapped indoors with the chicken pox during a heat wave. The events set in motion a summer that will span continents and change the Santerres forever.
Medlem:michele726
Titel:A Family Daughter: A Novel
Forfattere:Maile Meloy
Info:Scribner (2007), Paperback, 336 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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A Family Daughter af Maile Meloy

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I picked it up on a whim, having read Maile Meloy's other book, and remembering having liked it. But this, I'm not too sure about. It was like watching a soap opera, not that I've watched many, but the drama of it all. The many layers, the characters, the way each chapter seemed to be quite self-contained. It was interesting enough that I finished reading it, but I will remember it next month? Probably not. ( )
  RealLifeReading | Jan 19, 2016 |
You don't typically see an author revisit a family that they already wrote about so as to tell a different version of their story, but that is exactly what happens here. Same characters, but some different sequences of events leading to some very different (or similar, as the case may be) outcomes. Meloy's writing style is very compelling, and the story once again quickly grew on me as a reader. Of course, there is quite a bit in the book that some might find objectionable, making it certainly not be a good choice for everybody, but it is otherwise worth checking out. ( )
  TiffanyAK | Jan 1, 2015 |
carrying her private sense of disaster and chaos through an ad for light beer. : An uncle who sleeps with his niece, a mother who won't commit to her daughter, and a matriarch who looks back at her family and wonders why they are all so eccentric, wayward and willful. In A Family Daughter, author Maile Meloy returns to the Santerres family, telling her story from the perspective of Clarissa's daughter Abby who is about to attend university in San Diego.

Beautiful, confused and sensual, Abby is also emotional and complicated. She visits a therapist to try and make sense of her life, and has a close relationship with Ben, her father. But when Ben is killed in a car accident, Abby is set adrift - her mother, Clarissa is too distant and self-involved to take that much of an interest in her. Shaken to the core, she falls in love with her Uncle Jamie, a supportive influence since she was seven years old.

Of course, there's a question over whether Jamie is really Abby's uncle, but they're so hot for each other that they begin sleeping together. Abby also begins to write a novel about a Catholic family keeping secrets from each other. It's ostensibly a work of fiction, but it's also a thinly disguised veil of her own family, and it allows the major players to seek out part of their pasts, each attempting to find their own way.

A Family Daughter is richly observed and multi-layered and it keeps constantly diverging, introducing characters existing in the periphery of the Santerres' lives; at one stage, the narrative even switches gears to Argentina. There's a spoilt countess, a devious Hungarian prostitute, and a calculating French lawyer, with Meloy always contrasting these points of view, exposing the miscommunications, disappointments and expectations of this family and the people that fall within their radar.

Teddy, the patriarch, with his ailing eyesight and declining health wonders why his family make the kind of decisions they do and choose to live errant lives. An old style Catholic father, his beliefs made him rigid - he wonders why Jamie hadn't settled down the way he expected, and that his daughters lives were not what he wanted for them, "we all knew in all of these cases that he hoped that things would turn out differently," Teddy represents the old guard, wanting what is understandable and morally unambiguous and not filled with strife, "to trust Go and sow faith and Love."

At the novel's end, none of the characters ever really achieve Teddy's wishes: Clarissa remains capricious and selfish, the bored Margot reconnects with an old flame and throws herself into an affair, handsome Jamie marries for convenience not love, and the lovely Abby remains baffled at her family's dysfunctions and contradictions.

While A Family Daughter isn't as tightly plotted and as realistic as its prequel Liars and Saints, the novel is still an unusual examination of a modern American family in crisis, "a crazy invented family." The problem with a second novel is that it must prolong the curiosity of the first, move the story along and also keep the characters from becoming dull.

For those who enjoyed Liars and Saints, this novel is certainly an excellent connection to past characters as well as bridging the gap to the next generation. The good news is that A Family Daughter also works as a stand-alone novel; it's a compelling portrait of a family where faith, God and logic sit uneasily side by side. Mike Leonard April 06.
  lonepalm | Dec 8, 2011 |
This is the second book (to Liars and Saints). I read this one first and loved it. ( )
  Well-ReadNeck | May 11, 2010 |
A sign of a good book: You start out warming to the book, but you grow to love the book more and more and more as you go along. That's the case for me with this book. I grew to love the characters so much that I did not want to get to the end. My favorite thing about this book (and, oddly, it's a thing that irritated me at first) is the author's way of telling a story, Hemingway-esque, very objectively, almost like Meloy is looking down on the whole story from above and just telling what she sees. What's true and what's made up in a book...this was a fun theme in the book. Abby was a fascinating character, but I also liked her uncle and Margot. I think there are probably a lot of us Margots among us readers.No easy answers, no pat endings...Meloy perfectly reflects the ambiguity of our modern world. Wonderful book. I'm very happy to have read this one. It's definitely one for the reading groups who like to deal with psychological conflict. ( )
  debnance | Jan 29, 2010 |
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In the summer of 1979, just when Yvette Santerre thought her children were all safely launched and out of the house, her granddaughter came to stay in Hermosa Beach and came down with a fever, and then a rash.
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It's 1979, and seven-year-old Abby, the youngest member of the close-knit Santerre family, is trapped indoors with the chicken pox during a heat wave. The events set in motion a summer that will span continents and change the Santerres forever.

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