The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt

Setting: Aurora, Texas
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: February 7, 2017

The Good Daughter is a book I really struggled with, yet I also felt compelled to keep reading to see what on earth was happening. Given that, I'm really torn on how I feel about this Alexandra Burt novel.

After 15 years away, Dahlia Waller returns to her mother's home in Aurora, Texas, hoping to finally get answers. Dahlia remembers snippets of her childhood, many snippets that don't make sense. What she's certain of is that she's grown up never having identifying paperwork, being able to hold a job that didn't pay under the table, or having a mother who didn't live in fear.

The harder she seems to press her mother for answers, the more her mother seems to resist. This only makes Dahlia more determined to uncover the truth about her mother's past. It's a truth that could tear Dahlia's world apart.

There really seem to be two mysteries at hand in The Good Daughter. First is the appearance of a Jane Doe who Dahlia finds in the woods while out jogging. The woman is left for dead and in a coma. Dahlia feels compelled to uncover the identity of the person who left the woman for dead. This plot line made no sense to me. It triggered Dahlia to have what appeared to be visions, but none of it seemed to link up to Dahlia's past. I really can't decide why it was in the book.

The main plot is the story of a handful of women. You have Dahlia's mother and Dahlia, there's a young teen who's raped and must handle the aftermath of the rape, and there's a seer/gypsy who finds a young teen on her doorstep who is very pregnant and in need of rescuing, The chapters bounce back and forth between the myriad of characters and often gives no idea of the timeframe, so it's hard to keep up at first.

It's the main plot and all the women that kept me reading, however, I had to know how they linked together. As it's finally revealed, and nothing is revealed quickly, it makes sense and became somewhat predictable.

In the end, I only liked The Good Daughter. It had its shining moments, but there were other parts where I simply didn't get why something or someone was included at all.


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