The Favorite Daughter

The Favorite Daughter

by Kaira Rouda

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The Favorite Daughter 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Doreena Silva 8 days ago
What an awesome read! I read this book in 2 days! I couldn't read it fast enough especially after meeting the Author Kaira Rouda, at a Thrillerfest book event the day I started it and hearing her speak about the book and her thoughts about it and the writing process involved. It didn't quite end like I thought it would for the protagonist but it was still an awesome Domestic psychological thriller. I'm so looking forward to reading more of Kaira's books
RobinLovesReading 3 months ago
Jane Harris has lost her oldest daughter due to a tragic accident. It doesn’t take long in reading this book for readers to see if there’s something strange really wrong with Jane. Of course she’s grieving the loss of her daughter. But what’s more is she’s grieving the loss of her former self. After some time on antidepressants, mixed with difficult memories from her past, Jane is trying to rise up. In so doing she makes very weird statements. One of the most difficult things to read as the story starts to take form is that her surviving daughter Betsy is certainly not Jane's favorite. Her favorite was Mary. Now Jane will do whatever she can to make Betsy pay for not being the daughter that died. While she’s at it why not make her husband pay for all of his misdeeds too. He has lied and cheated for years. One of his worst travesties has just been revealed to her. I had to stop a couple of times while reading this book. I was like, 'are you for real Jane?' She is one of the most unreliable characters I have read in a very long time. She takes herself very seriously. Are we the reader supposed to take her seriously? If so, then I feel really bad for her. If not, then I really want to laugh because no one can have the thought process is that she has shown us. Her memories are interspersed within the narration. To stave off boredom she reads strange articles and quotes from the Internet. Then there is a sudden, sharp twist in the story. It happened so fast, so be careful, because the reader just might miss it. Jane has a plan. A deep, dark, disturbing one. In so doing she is utterly excited, not caring for one moment who she might hurt. Despite this excitement, the feeling that it’s all going to fall apart, the knowledge that if I ever knew somebody like this in real life I would run in the other direction. With these and other similar thoughts, I must admit to growing tired of Jane and her antics. It seemed to me that no one was ever going to wake up and see what Jane was all about. Nonetheless, I pulled through it and got to see that she really was that bad and then I admit to being eager to see if and when she would be stopped. Another thing, Jane has no remorse. She knows everything she is saying and doing is wrong, but she simply doesn’t care. I will say that there were some things I didn’t like in this book, such as what happened to Cash, the dog, but I am glad that I got to read something that was just a bit different. While Jane was planning, admiring herself and and telling about her perfection, and acting upon set plan, she is talking to us the reader at all times. She pulled us into the story whether we want to be there or not. Thank you to the Kaira Rouda for providing a character that everybody is going to hate. To be triggered into those feelings while reading a book says to me, good job. Well done. I definitely look forward to reading much more by Ms. Rouda. Many thanks to Grayson House and to NetGalley for this ARC for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
CharJones2525 4 months ago
Wowee wow what a triumph of a psychological thriller! A main character you love to hate in the best possible way, more twists than San Fran’s Lombard Street, and wickedly funny too. June Harris, who lost her oldest daughter Mary a year old, has been beset by grief and finally re-emerges to find her once perfect family changed around her. Husband now gone long hours at the office. Daughter totally secretive. Even Mary, the quintessential “good girl,” may not have been all she appeared to be. Rouda writes characters you detest so beautifully that you love her for it because she keeps you so darned entertained. 5/5 Pub Date 21 May 2019. Available at Amazon. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #TheFavoriteDaughter #NetGalley
3900980 4 months ago
A year after the death of her eldest daughter Mary from a horrific accident, Jane Harris tries to put her always present grief behind her and start anew with her husband David and youngest daughter Betsy. But that is difficult as she has been in a drug induced haze and in counseling for the past year dealing with the death. There is a memorial for Mary coming up as well as Betsy's graduation from high school. Her husband David is never around and leaves for work early and arrives home very late. She feels like she has missed so much over the past year that she has to make up for the time she was "away" grieving. Jane soon realizes very quickly that her family has changed and in her mind not for the better. Betsy is short with her and very secretive and David seems to want to have nothing to do with her. Jane gives a clear picture to the reader of a family moving on without her and she will have none of that. Jane, although in mourning has been a busy woman throughout the year. She sees and knows more than her family thinks, It's time now for her to reclaim her family. But then Jane discovers someone knows something about Mary's accident, her husband is having an affair and Betsy has been hiding things from her. She misses Mary so much because she never caused these types of problems. What should she do? Well fix the family of course! As only she can. This psychological fast paced thriller will have your heart racing as Jane addresses the reader and gives us bits and pieces of her plans and how the past and present merge into an explosive ending. From the author of The Best Day Ever, Kaira Rouda is a psychological genius in her character development.
JulieB 4 months ago
My thoughts: Hard to put down, clever and suspenseful! I requested this book from my local library, after one of my GR’s friends told me about the “Material’s Request” through my local library. I’d seen the option—and knew what it was for—but for some reason it never really “clicked” in my head. OMG, this is such a wonderful benefit! Not only does my library get the book, but I am on the top of the list to borrow it. Since I’m only allowed a limited number per year, I’ll be saving them for “exceptional” books! This was definitely not a wasted request! Jane—the main character—pulled me in with her eloquent storytelling. In my opinion, her character is what makes this book so incredible. And she is a character. I felt so many emotions towards her—outrage, sympathy, shock, hatred, but she still managed to make me laugh throughout the book! Jane is a wife and mother of two daughters. She’s controlling because she knows what’s best for her family. Most suspense/thrillers have some type of revenge in the plot, but Ms. Rouda puts a new and deranged twist on revenge! She is an impressive author and I’ll be reading more of her books! Jane loves telling us about her “perfect life”. She has it all...or had it all...a gorgeous husband, two beautiful children and an amazing oceanfront house in a gated community in Southern California. Everything was perfect until a tragic accident took the life of her daughter, Mary. Jane spends the next year in a haze of anti-depressants, alcohol and grief. But she decides it’s time to pull herself together and move on. Her other daughter, Betsy, is getting ready to graduate from High School and she wants her perfect family back. Her family has moved on in the last year without her, but she just needs a little time and she’ll be back in control. My Rating: 4.5 ⭐️’s (rounding down) Published: May 21st 2019 by Graydon House Pages: 368 Recommend: Yes! Excerpts: “None of this is easy, it never has been. I mean, it’s hardest for me trying to be so selfless, the perfect wife and the perfect mother. So, life, let’s get ready to rumble.”
Queenbethanny 4 months ago
SPOILER ALERT - At first I thought, boy, the Mother/Wife is really full of herself and was having a hard time getting into the book. Several times I wanted to quit reading but something kept me going. I'm glad I did. As the story went on, told from Jane's point of view, she released more and more about herself and her daughter that passed away. I realized that Jane was diabolical, calculating, completely narcissitic and passive/aggressive. She couldn't stay people leaving her and eventually became fascinated by death and strange ways people have died.
Renwarsreads 4 months ago
Boy Jane was a real hoot, reading this book through her eyes really makes you think about people who are really crazy and believe things that aren't entirely the truth. Jane was certainly a person out for herself and I wonder how she made it so long hiding that part of herself and staying married with her daughters. I liked this writing style and would definitely read another book by Kaira Rouda.
3no7 4 months ago
“The Favorite Daughter” by Kaira Rouda is the story of Jane Harris and the perfect home, the perfect family, and the perfect lie. It is unfolds in Jane’s first person narrative. She talks to herself and she talks to readers. She admits being manipulative, “I should win a domestic Golden Globe.” She shares her feelings about others “Well, she was already on my list of course, but she’s bumped herself up in the ratings.” She explains her social philosophy “I’ve always enjoyed the company of men over women. I’m sorry to say. They’re just, well, easier.” In addition, she shares her research, “But honestly, I watch a lot of crime TV these days, do a lot of online research about death. If you are going to be murdered, you’re more likely to be killed by someone you know, and most likely, love. Almost half of all murdered women are killed by a romantic partner. Lovely, I know.” Readers can only wonder why she is sharing that! Jane Harris lives picturesque Orange County. A beautiful place, but Jane’s beautiful life is drenched in sadness. One year ago, Jane’s oldest daughter, Mary, died in a terrible accident, but despite this gut-wrenching tragedy, Jane is someone that readers will just love to hate. In fact, everyone in the book is nasty, and that nastiness makes for fantastic reading. Of course, there are times when one cannot help but root for her, even just a little, but unfortunately, she is just disagreeable, narcissistic, and horrible. Rouda’s plot proceeds at an appropriate pace with plenty of twists and turns, but it is not so complex that readers get lost in the complications since Jane feels compelled to share her secrets. “The Favorite Daughter” is a fun, almost compulsive read. The storyline is interesting with some unexpected moments, and an extraordinary ending. I received a review copy of “The Favorite Daughter” from Kaira Rouda, and Graydon House Books. It is highly entertaining.
blonde_betty 4 months ago
In The Favorite Daughter, by Kaira Rouda, the narrator, Jane Harris is unreliable, this is clear from page one. As a reader I definitely didn’t like her, however, I was fascinated by her story and wanted to keep reading just to see how far her narcissism would go. Kind of like a train wreck you can’t help but watch. Rouda wraps you into the story and keeps you reading even as you recognize that you don’t actually like any of these characters. That is a rare talent. Rouda earned her place on my auto-buy list with Best Day Ever. The Favorite Daughter just cemented her into place. I look forward to seeing where we go next. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.
lsmoore_43 5 months ago
This was one heck of a book. From the beginning you will get into Jane’s head and won’t be able to escape. She’s one narcissistic woman who you don’t need to cross. I liked her very much but would certainly never want her as a neighbor. The characters in this book are so well developed. So hard to truly get to know. You only get to know them via Jane Harris and Jane has lots of opinions about each person in this book. It’s told completely from Jane. This book will keep you turning pages until the very end. You will want to know honestly who did what to whom and will certain people get caught in their deceitful, conniving, two timing lies. Or will Jane get what she wants. The truth about what happened to her first daughter, Mary. Did Mary have an accident or did someone push her? If someone pushed her, was it a loved one or a mortal enemy? Or could it truly have been just an accident and Jane can’t accept it as such. I enjoyed every page of this book. There were some characters I didn’t like but they were still important. Just don’t cross Jane. Jane is a force to be reckoned with if you bother someone she loves. Thank you to #NetGalley and Harlequin-Grayden House Books for the copy in exchange of my complete and honest review. I loved it. It’s a big 5 stars.
Momma_Becky 5 months ago
The Favorite Daughter takes the unreliable narrator to a whole new level with Jane, which was a bit two-sided for me. On one hand, the author has created a character who certainly piques the interest. There's no way to read this one and not be shocked by Jane's words and actions. On the flip-side of that, Jane is so out there with her behavior, at least in what she tells the reader, that it's almost impossible not to see where this story has to be going. There are twists, but most of them are a little too easy to at least guess at way before they're revealed. Despite that, the story still held my interest. I think a big part of that lay with the characters. Surprisingly, there really aren't any characters in this one that I particularly liked, but the author still managed to make me feel some measure of sympathy for their situation - even the ones who were in a mess of their own making. That's a feat in itself and certainly shows Rouda's talent for storytelling. In the end, I liked some things about this one, and others, not so much, but it is worth the read.
Caroldaz 5 months ago
Kaira Rouda is a unique storyteller with a talent for character creativity! We first meet Jane, the narrator of the story. I have to admit that initially I felt sorry for her. She was grieving for the loss of her daughter, Mary, in a tragic accident. It seems her husband was not sympathetic and she had been reliant on drugs to help her get through the days. Then doubts crept into my mind and I was not sure that I liked Jane very much. She proves to be a narcissist, controlling and probably a psychopath. I did enjoy a line I read in one of the later chapters where Jane described she was going to have the Best Day Ever, which is the title of her previous book. I loved it!
TheBookBag 5 months ago
Jane has the perfect life. Well, except for the fact that her oldest daughter died in a tragic accident last year. And the fact that her youngest daughter had completely turned against her. Oh, and the fact that she suspects her husband is having an affair. Other than that, everything is perfect and she is in control—she has the perfect plan to make them all pay. "None of it will matter in a couple of days, anyway, not if everything goes as it should." The Favorite Daughter is a riveting, on the edge of your seat, story that knock your socks off. Jane is such an evil, conniving woman and everything she does fulfills a part of her master plan. A plan that she lets the reader in on to some degree. It was interesting to know her thought process throughout the book and to get a glimpse of her anger and sense of revenge. This was definitely a unique story-line, where the reader is so much in the head of the main character. It was an amazing read that I couldn't put down! You definitely need to add it to your TBR list for this summer.
ColoradoGirl71 5 months ago
3 nutty stars to this unreliable narrator story This is my first read by this author, although I see that she’s written quite a few books. This one features an unreliable, over-the-top narrator, Jane. At first, I struggled a bit with this book, but then I just sort of went with the crazy and I enjoyed it more. Poor Jane lost her daughter a year ago with a tragic fall into the ocean and she’s just now digging her way out of the grief. She’s decided to turn a new leaf and get her husband back and reconnect with her other daughter. Which reminds me, I’m still not sure who is the favorite daughter? Jane has a fun way of talking to us as the reader and it adds to the campiness of the book. Jane is a really crazy character who really does some unexpected things. The book builds a bit in anticipation as some new clues come out about what really happened to her daughter a year ago. This one is not quite my cup of tea, but it was a good departure read for me.
Kristy_K 5 months ago
I can see many people loving this book with Jane, our unreliable narrator, weaving tales and creating stories. But I had a hard time with her. She seemed unhinged from the beginning, wild and crazy. I like a more slow build when it comes to unreliable narrators. I don’t like knowing from the get go that I shouldn’t trust them. I also didn’t like how Jane talked directly to the reader. It seemed unnecessary. The plot was interesting and kept you turning pages. There was the main story of her daughter who tragically died the year before and the current story of her family moving in and coping with that loss. Jane obsessed about controlling all of her family and them not involving her in the present or their plans for their future caused her crazy to escalate. At the end it all unravels, predictably so. I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.