Friday, 10 March 2017

Review - The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt

Back in October 2015 I read Alexandra Burt’s debut novel, Little Girl Gone, which I thought was absolutely brilliant. Since then I’ve been eagerly waiting for the author’s second novel which has finally arrived in the form of The Good Daughter. Given how much I enjoyed Alexandra’s previous book, I went into this one expecting great things and even though it was quite different to what I was expecting it to be overall I can most certainly say that I was not left feeling disappointed. 

In the book we meet Dahlia Waller a character whose earliest memories consist of spending an extraordinary amount of time in the car with her mum, Memphis, as they travelled from state to state and from one motel to the next. Receiving the majority of her education from an encyclopedia as opposed to attending school, it’s fair to say that her childhood was far from conventional and, now grown up, Dahlia is keen to distance herself from her past. However with many questions that are preventing her from doing so, Dahlia decides to return to her mother in the town of Aurora where something is most definitely not right. As her mother starts to talk, just what will Dahlia discover?

As a book that is told from the perspective of multiple characters, at its heart this is a story that digs deep and investigates a relationship between a mother and daughter. Despite it taking a little while for me to figure out exactly what was going on and who was who, I became keen to see where Alexandra was going to take the characters to next. Whilst I couldn’t always relate to the characters in terms of the things they had experienced,  some of which were truly dark and shocking, I found that the characters were wonderfully well-developed and I ended up feeling a great deal for each of them.

Quite unlike Alexandra’s first book which I thought was fast-paced from beginning to end I felt that The Good Daughter took a while to really get going. That said it’s a book that I believe is well worth sticking with as when it did get going I genuinely struggled to put it down. I ended up really loving the way in which it was written with Alexandra blending a number of different themes into her writing. 

A complex, clever and compelling read, The Good Daughter was a book that I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read. With this now being the second of Alexandra’s novels that I have read and enjoyed, I’ll certainly be looking out for more written by the author in the future. A book you definitely want to give a chance!