Book Review: The Favorite Daughter

THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER | Kaira Rouda
05.21.2019 | Graydon House
Rating: 5/5 stars

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Jane Harris had everything. The perfect home. The perfect family. The perfect tragedy. Tucked away in her oceanfront Orange County home, Jane has been grieving the loss of her oldest daughter, Mary. Now that a year has passed it is time for Jane to emerge from her sadness and rebuild her family. For the last year she has mourned Mary through a haze of antidepressants, but now that the fog is lifting, she’s starting to have her doubts that Mary’s death was an accident. Did she really just accidentally fall from a cliff or was she pushed?

With just three days until her youngest daughter, Betsy,  graduates high school, Jane must put her efforts into overdrive in order to avoid losing her perfect life. Her family has changed in ways the average person would not be able to undo, but Jane knows she is up for the massive challenge. She will stop at nothing to have her family whole again. She will stop at nothing to track down a killer. She will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

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But no one really knows another person, not fully. And I have so many more loving tricks up my sleeve.

Kaira Rouda is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers of unreliable narrators. She has a wickedly, brilliant way of writing narcissistic, yet entertaining characters that make me unable to not binge read her books. Once I opened THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER I was hooked within the first few pages. I needed to know more about Jane, what happened to Mary, and what secrets everyone was hiding.

Let’s start with Jane Harris, our delightful, perfect mother. Oh Jane, you have so many devious thoughts coursing through your mind. She is a woman hell-bent on having her family exactly the way she wants them. The only way to be is Jane’s way and she won’t hesitate to work behind your back to make sure you feel the same. Her narration is captivating and the reader is left wondering if they hate Jane or love Jane. She made me cringe. She made me laugh. She made me want to know more!

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The thing about the truth is you can see it when it’s revealed. Even if it’s been in front of you all along, even if you never, ever, wanted to see it.

Working from solely Jane’s perspective the reader is forced to start to read between the lines of Jane’s story. There are clues that perhaps Jane’s theories on her family aren’t reliable, but she does a phenomenal job of justifying her perspective and making you second guess your doubts. I constantly felt my feelings for Jane fluctuating between pity and being convinced she had lost her mind. What exactly is the truth? Well sit back, because you’re going to learn in the most entertaining style!

The bottomline is, don’t hesitate to put THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER at the top of your summer reading list! You’re going to want to clear out a few hours because once you meet Jane, you won’t want to stop devouring her story. You’ll be entertained until the very last page!


This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

Disclosure: Thank you Harlequin books for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

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