I’ve been reading a lot of non-YA lately, and I’ve also stumbled across a few genre-spanning books, which I really like (why do books have to be pigeonholed into genres?) – Liane Moriarty’s chick-lit-mysteries, and now Elizabeth Little’s chick-lit-thriller “Dear Daughter.” This book was like trying a new kind of chocolate bar: you know you’re not going to hate it — because hey, it’s chocolate! — but you’re not sure if it’s going to be that waxy type of chocolate that should really be called waxolate instead. Verdict: this was a fun, candy-filled treat that will keep me coming back for more!
When I was in my teens, I used to pick up a book with no expectations, and as a result enjoyed all books a lot more. Knowing nothing about Elizabeth Little and only having read a teaser review for this book, I did the same, and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you’re looking for a mystery that’s more high-brow or has writing that makes you gasp, then this isn’t the book for you; but if you’re looking for a page-turner with great characters and sarcastic humour, then check this one out.
Former it-girl Janie Jenkins has just finished her ten-year jail term for killing her own mother. The original trial had been a media frenzy, and as Janie describes, the verdict was decided by the public before the trial even began. She’s finally out and determined to prove her innocence… but wants to do it without the media getting wind of it. To avoid the paparazzi that are already trying to hunt her down, she dyes her hair and heads off to the small town that is the first clue to her mother’s murder.
Having once been a society gal – think Paris Hilton with a brain – but also having endured ten years of prison, Janie’s observations are cutting and wry. Janie is tough, feisty, and has no illusions about who she used to be. From the middle of a fight scene: The crowd below was growing louder. “Janie, what are you wearing?” “It’s off the rack!” I yelled. “Let us never speak of it again.”
Janie no longer cares about how she looks or who’s vying for the top of the social heap, but she still knows the game and has the ability to cut people down to size if she wants. The secondary characters in the small town are all likeable or like-to-hate, and it’s a delight to watch Janie, who really would prefer not to interact with anyone, have to deal with them all in her effort to find out her mother’s back-story (previously unknown to Janie: her mother came from a podunk mining town?), and how it led to her murder.
There’s no point me giving any plot away – let me just say it’s fun, gripping, and leads to a perfect chick-lit-thriller conclusion.
Treat yourself to this book like you would a chocolate: you know it’s not good for you, but who cares? – it’s chocolate!