Disclaimer: I received a free digital Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of The Favorite Daughter from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book was published on June 4, 2019.
This is a well-written, sweet book about coming home–and defining what “home” even means in the first place. I loved the characters in this book, especially Colleen/Lena, the main character. Even though I’ve never been through the things she has (discovering my fiance is a cheater on my wedding day), I really understood to my core her searching and her loss, and how it might feel to be looking for one’s place in the world.
Things I loved: The writing style was great, I got a real the real sense of the South and the characters and community which were vibrant and interesting. I adored Gavin, the father who is succumbing to Alzheimer’s. I liked the mystery of Lena’s birth and how it slowly made its way to the surface. I thought Lena’s brother Shane was a great character and I really wanted to know more about him.
Things I didn’t love: I got a little bored with the plot in about the middle third of the book. I felt like “Yup, she’s home. Yup, she hasn’t forgiven her sister. Yup, her sister is being a bit of a jerk about it all. Let’s get on with it.” Then, it felt like all of a sudden, a whole bunch of stuff happened, and I wasn’t sure I was quite ready for the shift in pace. But that could just be me. I don’t know that other people would have trouble with the pacing. I also felt like the budding romance between Lena and her love interest was a bit boring and so therefore fell kind of flat. I thought Lena’s sister was pretty much selfish to the core, so it was hard to believe that Lena loved and missed her so much.
Overall, it was a pretty good read, and I’ll definitely read others by this author. Thank you so much to Berkley for sharing the eARC with me!