The Murderer's Daughters
Randy Susan Meyers
Griffin, 2011 (2010)
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Reviewed by Joan Burton
he Murderer's Daughters
is an intense, absorbing debut novel that keeps you turning the pages. It is the story of two sisters who witness a shocking event, and the aftermath with which they deal on a daily basis.
ulu is ten years old and her sister Merry is just five. Their mother Celeste spends more time concerned about her looks and flirting with men than taking care of her daughters. Their father Joey is madly in love with Celeste but struggles with bouts of anger and his drinking. After their parents separate, the girls are told to never open the door to him. When Joey returns, pleading to Lulu to let him in, their life is changed forever.
he girls lose their mother that day, Merry is hospitalized, and Joey is sent to prison. Lulu and Merry are juggled back and forth between relatives who are unable to care for them, and others not wanting to care for them. They spend years in a group home fighting to survive. Lulu refuses to visit her father in prison, while Merry makes weekly trips with her grandmother. Merry is not as strong as Lulu and wants to placate her father at all costs. This becomes an endless battle between the sisters. Eventually the girls are taken in by a physician and his family, but never feel that they fit in. They are well cared for and given a good education but the trauma they endured at a young age stays with them.
erry becomes a probation officer and tries to help the unfortunate. Her personal life however, is in shambles, as she is damaged. She drinks too much and is promiscuous, always searching for happiness. Lulu has become a doctor and has married a good man. She is now a mother with two daughters of her own. As an adult she still denies her father, and lives with the lie that her parents were killed in a car crash.
hen the sisters learn that their father will soon be paroled, Lulu feels her safe world crashing down around her. Merry felt secure and in control while her father was in prison, but now turns to Lulu for guidance. Two sisters, different in every way, wanting to be free of their entanglements, now must search their hearts and do what is right for themselves. The
is haunting and heartbreaking.
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