Newest Review: ... with and enjoy herself and the two become close. Sadly as well her parent's divorce Abby has then later on to cope with the fact her fathe... more
A Family Daughter and the rest of the family too
A Family Daughter - Maile Meloy
Member Name: catsholiday
A Family Daughter - Maile Meloy
Advantages: Well written and story had me reading on
Disadvantages: Some may be offended by the topics in the book
A Family Daughter by Maile Meloy
Original price £7.99
This was yet another of my free Bookcrossing finds. I love this organisation as I have found so many books that I never would have read without finding them through Bookcrossing. The thing is that I can pick up a book that looks interesting and if it proves to be rubbish I have lost nothing and just put it back out there. If I find a good one I can then share it with my friends and enjoy a good book then write a review to earn me a few pennies too.
Maile Meloy is American and lives in California. Here first novel 'Lairs and Saints' was shortlisted for the 2005 Orange prize for fiction and was also chosen by Richard and Judy as their summer read for that year.
The story is set in the USA and begins in 1979. The heroine Abby is staying with her grandparents and has chicken pox so in the heat of summer she is trapped indoors with no friends so is feeling pretty fed up. Abby is the daughter of one of Yvette and teddy's children,the slightly scatty Clarissa. They have an older more sensible and reliabke daughter Margot married with children and also a much younger son called Jamie.
Clarissa , Abby's mother is mid divorce and in order to cope has sent her daughter to stay with her parents so that she has time to herself over in Hawaii.
Abby is miserable until her young uncle Jamie turns up and then she has someone to swim with and enjoy herself and the two become close.
Sadly as well her parent's divorce Abby has then later on to cope with the fact her father is killed in a car crash and her one normal parent is lost to her. She turns to Jamie for support and they become even more close and eventually become lovers. They can't help themselves yet they know it is wrong and from this relationship so many ripples begin and throughout the book we see how the entire family and people beyond are affected by this relationship.
they know what they did is wrong and so separate and try to form other relationships . They seek counselling but this is not the magic answer. Abby writes a book sort of based around their relationship and this has huge repercussions on the family as you might imagine.
I found the characters very real and although I have had nothing quite as eventful happen in my family I can empathise with each of them as they are human. They are all characters that are neither black or white, at time you find you really want something good to happen for one of them and then they do something so stupid or awful that you want to give them a good shake. I do like it when characters are real and neither all good or too bad.
What Jamie and Abby did was morally wrong and incest which is quite taboo in Western society. However it is not a brother and sister nor is it a father and daughter. These are two youngsters who just happen to be uncle and niece and feel very close to each other. It is a grey area and you can't help but feel for them in their predicament. They do manage to form other relationships but always at the back of their minds is their feeling for each other and their constant struggle to fight this.
Incest is a tricky subject but I thought the author handles the whole thing well. She portrayed their struggle and their horror at their situation and also how thi affected so many others in the story.
This was a family story involving a couple of generations and all the ups and downs that they go through, many sparked off by Abby's book which they are never sure if it is true or not.
I did find I was drawn to the stories of some of the characters more than others and each had their part to contribute to the family saga. It was frightening how easily some of the characters fell when faced with a challenge while others seemingly more fragile mentally coped with so much more.
I can't say this was the best book i have ever read but is far from being the worst. I thought it was very well written and had so many elements of human frailty in it. At times I was amused at others quite shocked and then later quite sad. It was quite shocking at times but I did quite enjoy the fact that the characters were sympathetic one minute and totally awful the next. It wasn't a relaxing read because of this but to me it was more real because people do tend to be likeable one minute and then do something annoying the next, that is life and no one is perfect in my view.
I have not read anything else by the author but having read 'A Family Daughter', I would not be averse to reading another book she has written. I didn't find the sex scenes particularly graphic or titillating. This is no 'Shades of Grey', it much more matter of fact and almost passed over really as the book is not about the actual sex scenes but more about the repercussions of the relationship.
To quote the blurb on the back
" An engaging and insightful novel about the joys and complications of modern life.... A delicious read."
"Maile Meloy writes wonderfully well, with an efficiency so lithe it's like watching an athlete." - Guardan
"' A family Daughter' roams engrossingly from California to Paris to Buenos Aires in ways that make it a big book as well as a swift, slender, graceful one." - New York Times
It is an easy read in that it is well written and the story flows easily from character to character and it is easy to see how it all fits together. I liked the fact that it ended somewhat open ended as though there may be a sequel. In fact reading the synopsis of her previous book 'Liars and Saints' i do believe this may be a sequel to that one as the event mentioned in that is also in this book but I am only guessing.
Thank you for reading . This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name
Summary: A family saga with a sad secret but is there more?