Book Review

THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER by Kaira Rouda

Rating: 4 / 5

I had the privilege of meeting author Kaira Rouda at an event over the summer and I of course had pick up her most recent release THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER. I’ve been eager to fit it into my TBR, so when I went combing my shelves for more thrills and suspense for October, I immediately settled on this one to be my next read.

THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER is narrated by Jane Harris, a woman who in many ways seems to have a great life living in a beautiful Southern California home with her husband and daughter. Things aren’t all sunny however as the family is still reeling from the tragic loss of their oldest daughter nearly a year earlier. As they get closer to the anniversary of the date when Mary died, her younger sister Betsy is preparing for graduation while their father David is preparing a memorial service to honor Mary’s memory.

This is all a lot for Jane to handle, of course, but she is fully determined to put on a brave face. She has lived the past year on anti-depressants, rarely leaving the house. Jane is now off the drugs and ready to take control back over her life, no matter what anyone else has to say about it. Unfortunately, not everyone in Jane’s life is entirely on board with seeing things Jane’s way. Her husband seems to be spending too much time at work and her daughter seems to want nothing to do with her.

As the story progresses, the mystery about what exactly happened to Mary deepens. Someone seems to know more about the prior year’s tragedy and they seem determined to bring these truths to light. Jane must consider what she’s willing to do to uncover the truth and get her family back to how she wants it.

This book definitely brings the reader a narrator who is not easy to like. When one can’t connect well with the narrator that can sometimes really turn me off from the story, but thankfully that wasn’t the case here. As Jane made me privy to all her thought patterns and manipulations, it made me even more curious to see how things would turn out. Lots of bad decisions are made which the reader knows aren’t going to turn out well, but you just have to stick around to see how it plays out!

I personally would list this book more as suspense and mystery than thriller, though it does have some elements of a psychological thriller going on as well. This novel brings an unreliable narrator into play in the best ways and lets the crazy run wild! The narration is done in such a way that Jane is almost pleading her case to the reader, asking us to see things her way. While I’m not buying her reasoning, it does make for a very interesting narrative.

I would definitely recommend you checking this one out. It was my first book by Kaira Rouda, but I do plan to read more!

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