Saturday, March 2, 2013

Book Review: The Good Daughter

The Good DaughterAuthor: Jane Porter
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Series: Brennan Sisters # 2

Love was given to all, except herself . . . Kit Brennan has always been the most grounded of her sisters. A Catholic school English teacher for seventeen years and a constant giver, her decisions have been sound—just not very satisfying. Her fortieth birthday is right around the corner, causing Kit to consider some wilder notions, like skipping right past the love and marriage to raising a child all by herself . . . A girls’ weekend away is just the reprieve Kit needs from school, Mr. Wrongs, and life-changing decisions. It’s there that she meets a man who’s dangerous; a man who challenges who she thought she was, or rather should be. Kit wants to indulge herself this once, but with one of her students in crisis and the weight of her family’s burdens weighing heavy on her heart, Kit isn’t sure if now is the time to let her own desires take flight . . .

“Kit loved books. Reading was her thing. But being a teacher wasn’t just about sharing great books with young, bright minds. It was also about managing, controlling, organizing, disciplining, advising, as well as assuming extra duties to keep the school’s overhead down. At Memorial, the faculty all had duties outside their classroom. Yard duty, cafeteria duty, extracurricular jobs, adviser jobs, coaching positions. Teachers wore many hats. Kit was spending her lunch hour in her classroom wearing her Drama Club adviser hat now.” – Finished Copy pg. 14

“Perhaps her house didn’t need men’s shirts and shoes filling its closets. Maybe what her house needed was a nursery. Maybe all she wanted was to be a mom.” – Finished Copy pg. 36

“Some people hated the low gray soupy fog but Kit liked it. She’d always found it romantic. Mysterious. The fog made her think of Byron and Venice in winter and in love. Foggy days made her want to curl up with a book. But then, she curled up with a book any chance she could. She loved books. Loved reading. Loved it so much she’s studied English literature at St. Mary’s and then she’d gone on to teach it.” – Finished Copy pg. 56

“Kit identified with her freshman and sophomore students. Their adolescent emotions burned razor sharp, fueled by hormones and intense wants and needs. Love. Hate. Fear. Desire. They all wanted to be somebody. They all craved something. Attention. Sex. Validation.” – Finished Copy pg. 152

“She was the reader, the teacher, the girl who loved books and ideas and escape. She’d never like reality. This is why she got lost in beauty, poetry, fiction, fantasy…” – Finished Copy pg. 243

Kit Brennan has three sisters, well four, counting her sister-in-law, Cass. As a family they have always been relatively close and Kit still remains the most reliable of them. Kit is about to turn forty and is facing quite a few trials in life: her mother has cancer that is slowly killing her, her sister-in-law and brother cannot conceive a child, and Kit has so far in life been unlucky in love and is starting to reconsider this entire area of her life. Kit’s story, and the second in this series, takes readers on the journey that Kit out of her element and causes her to realize what is really important in life. Does she want the happily ever after? Does she want to be the loyal wife and companion to some deserving man? Or does she just want to be a mother and be devoted to only a child?

Being a high school English teacher, I was able to connect with Kit on so many levels. Her passion and desire to bury herself in books is something I think we can all connect to, but then there was her spirit. She was so passionate about many aspects of her life, like her family, her friends, and let’s not forget her students too of course. Kit was so supportive of her family and their problems and happiness were part of her everyday life. She is always there for her sisters and the bond between them was completely beautiful. Being an only child, I never experienced the bond between siblings, and better yet sisters, so I have to rely on books to provide that for me. I think this whole series does a pretty good job of this. All my avid readers know that I love books about sisters and this series is at the top of my list as far as that sisterly love goes!

I loved the fact that Kit was almost forty years old and just then starting to reevaluate her life. Some would say that this sends a disturbing message, but the reality is that not everyone figures in out in their twenties or thirties. Kit was by no means a weak character and I respected her for the moves she made this much later in her life. This book takes us on an incredible journey and I wished it would have lasted longer. Kit discovers a new meaning in life and for once in her life, she starts to put herself and her own desires first. This book was so sad and emotional at times and I wish that I would have felt happier rather than sad so much, but I understand that it is necessary to the plot of the story. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this series which I believe is due to release this coming fall!

***A BIG thank you to the publishers at Berkley Trade for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. There are several reasons why I want to read this one: first your lovely review and then I can relate to the main character on many levels.
    I'm a future teacher so I understand the passion we tend to see thigns, specially students. And I also have 3 sisters and no mather how close we are I love to find comfort in my books, there's something about them that nobody else can give me :)
    Excellent review


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