Title: The Good Daughter
Author: Alexandra Burt
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Format: Paperback ARC
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Psychological Thriller/Drama
From the author of Remember Mia comes the tale of a young woman in search of her past, and the mother who will do anything to keep it hidden...
What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?
Dahlia Waller's childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.
In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighboring farm, she ll learn that in her mother s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered...
This is one helluva story! I’ve never really been confronted with a book, so far, that was hard to not only review, but to rate. Because did I love it? Not really. Did I hate it? No way. Was it okay? It was better than that and I was deeply fascinated by this very eerie and psychologically-twisted story.
The story begins from the point of view of Dahlia Waller. She’s just returned to Aurora, Texas after being gone for a couple of years, intending to distance herself from her mother and an extremely conflicting childhood. Her mother, Memphis Waller, is a woman with deep-rooted secrets and the unfolding of them all is what keeps you turning the pages in this one. In fact, the story unfolds through various points of views.
The story is told in a non-linear fashion which makes it interesting because the pieces start to fall together like a jigsaw puzzle. And the closer you get to unraveling the truth behind this very twisted mother/daughter relationship, the more you get sucked into the mystery of it all.
Disclaimer: if you are faint of heart and not very patient when it comes to slower-paced stories, this one is definitely not for you. Because it takes a while. Dahlia, on a walk through the woods, comes across a woman who is on the brink of death. And this story line, including how the woman ended up there, provides the thread and background that pulls together confusing apparitions, such as shadowy ghosts, three grave-looking mounds on her mother’s farm, including her mother's obsession with guarding secrets from the past (including why up until sometime during her adolescence, her mother stopped calling her “Pet” and started calling her Dahlia.)
Alexandra Burt’s writing is vivid and honestly, I can see this working perfectly as a movie because I could picture all the world-building details perfectly, including some particularly gruesome and disturbing moments. If you’re into psychological dramas, especially ones as unique and as peculiar as this one, I do recommend it. But again, be forewarned, this contains some graphic sexual content (of the assault kind) and psyche-twisting material. I'm of the opinion that this one should only be read if you're in a positive mental state because this is dark and dwells in the depths of the most ugliest of human motivations.