Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Yes, My Darling Daughter - Book Review

You all know I'm a big reader, and after recently finishing my favorite book out of the 76 I've read so far in 2011, I decided I would do a review.  Because this book is so excellent - and it isn't at all the type I'd have picked to read in the store.  The title isn't very appealing to me.  And neither was the cover (to me, it looked a little outdated, although the book was published in 2009).  But don't let that deter you - because Yes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret Leroy is an absolute must-read!  The reason I picked it up is because I read a review of it in my annual book calendar, in which Leroy's writing was compared to Daphne Du Maurier.  And as I read a summary of the book, I was intrigued by the story line.  It's a gothic, and I do love a good gothic.  Let me tell you something - last time I read a gothic this good (with not even an ounce of cheesiness to be found) was when I was 12 years old and read Touch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart. 
Here's what makes this book so unusual though.  In addition to being set in modern day, it has the mom factor.  And I mean reality mom.  There's no glossing over.  This is a mom (Grace) pouring her heart out, worrying herself to death over her child.  She's single and working in a flower shop in London, with very little support.  And her child, Sylvie, is four years old and starting to regress into these horrendous tantrums in which she screams with such terror and persistence that she often vomits and repulses all others.  Soon, friends start recommending psychiatric evaluations, and here poor Grace is struggling just to put food on the table each week.  When Sylvie gets kicked out of the nursery for her uncontrollable behavior, Grace is certain to lose her job if she can't find another place that will take Sylvie.  It's all one big train-wreck of motherhood and written so beautifully, so heart-wrenchingly, so lyrically, that you long to step into the book and take over.  To make things better. 

Meanwhile, Sylvie sees a picture from a magazine of a male model on a coastline.  She declares that this is where she is from.  That she lived there.  Other puzzling tidbits occur - Sylvie's declaring that she lived in another house, a nicer house than theirs.  Her refusal to call her mother Mum, instead calling her Grace.  Her increasing nightmares, and her sheer terror of water, particularly on her face.

Grace, in desperation, seeks out a psychology professor who researches children who may have psychic abilities or might have experienced past lives.  And although Grace's few supportive friends are against it (in fact, they think she's crazy), she decides to take a trip with him and Sylvie to Coldharbour, Scotland, to visit the place that Sylvie claims she has lived before.  What exactly is her mysterious connection to this coastline? 

That's all I'm going to tell you, because if you're interested, I don't want there to be any spoilers.  But you'll get your intriguing cottages, your stormy weather, your creepy cliffs in this read.  For two days, I got nothing done while I read this book.  It's fantastic.  If you like gothic style, you would love this book.  Check it out!

Disclaimer - I'm reviewing this book because I loved it, and thought I'd share the joy of reading it.  I didn't receive anything for doing so.

28 comments:

andy said...

Sounds like a good one . I have to admit I've never been a reader I just don't have the patients for it. Now if they make a movie I'm in haha !!!! Have a good day

andy said...

Sounds like a good one! I have never been a reader I just don't have the patients for it after about a chapter or two. Now if they have a movie I'm in! !!!HAHA

JDaniel4's Mom said...

This really sounds great! I will have to look for it.

Melodie said...

This sounds like my kind of read!

Out on the prairie said...

An interesting find, now we are on edge and need to find out more.Nice review.

Dawn said...

SOunds like a wonderful read! I've been wanting something good to read over Christmas! And it's library day tomorrow:)

Jill said...

I have never read anything in this genre but it sounds like a fantastic book. I think I'll get it on my Nook. Thanks, Lisa!

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

This books sounds great! I am a big reader and have never heard of this one. On my list now:)

Valerie said...

Sounds like the perfect book for a stormy winter day. I can't wait to read it!

Diana said...

this is interesting. I am trying to read alot of other books though haha :)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm a fan of good Gothic, too. This sounds pretty good.

Nezzy said...

Thanks darlin'...I'm always seekin' out the next great winter read.

Ya got me curious now!

God bless ya and have a fantastic day sweetie.

BTW: Giveaway...my place...the doors open and I'll leave a light on for ya! Heeehehehe!!!! :o)

camp and cottage living said...

Oh, this sounds like a must read, for sure. Now I have to know how it all turns out.
Many years ago I read a condensed version of 'Touch Not the Cat" and was hooked on Mary Stewart. I went to the library and checked out a new book every week until I'd read all of hers. Now I have collected a few. I love the older mystery novels so much better than what's out there now!
Seasons Blessings-Kimberly

4kids1mom said...

I love finding a new author! I would spend all my days and nights reading if it were possible!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great review, Lisa... Glad you liked the book so much.
Hugs,
Betsy

Sally said...

I'm not usually into that type book either, but it does sound really good. I've often wondered if all children, as they're growing up, feel like they had another life. When I was young, every new place or new thing that we saw or did, reminded me that I'd been there or done that before. I guess I'm just weird. LOL

My Journey With Candida said...

I read a variety of books, this sounds like something I would like.

Ginny said...

Gosh, I remember Mary Stewart, it's been years since I read her books, and I mean DECADES!! Also Daphne DeMurier. I used to be addicted to gothics and read hundreds of them, also the English regency types, like Georgette Heyer. This looks really good, a fun read. It seems to be a reincarnation novel.

Tom Stewart said...

Lisa,
I'm a new follower and I have gone back to the beigning and will read up to the present, I found that you stopped by my old blog sometime ago. I have a new one and would love to have you stop by "worms-a-crawling-farm.blogspot.com.

Sarah (Nikki) said...

gereat review.....have to admit...the title doesn't grab me either and 76 books in twenty eleven!!!! Wow. I've read some pretty amazing ones but don't come even close to that.

A Quiet Corner said...

When in Heaven's name do you find time to read...what was it book number 76???...:)JP

Chatty Crone said...

That does sound like a good book. sandie

AudreyO said...

Wow, that's a lot of books you've read this year. My daughter is actually going to try for 100 in 2012. Me, I'm good to read about 12 a year. I read only like 10-20 minutes per day and that's only a book or two a month. I do love the description you've written about this book.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

It does sound like a good book- but there never seems to be any time to read!
love
tweedles

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Thanks for the recommendation. Sounds like an interesting book!

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Sounds like a good book, Lisa. But, when do you have time to read? Making me feel guilty now.... :)

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

This looks like a great book club book. I'll bring it up next month!

Kim said...

I'm putting this on my list. I'm reading a gothic novel right now - the distant hours by Kate Morton. I love the reality aspect too!