Title: My Darling Daughter
Author: JP Delaney
Published: September 13th 2022
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Thriller, Suspense
Rating: 4 stars
The child you never knew
knows all your secrets . . .
Out of the blue, Susie Jukes is contacted on social media by Anna, the girl she gave up for adoption fifteen years ago.
But when they meet, Anna’s home life sounds distinctly strange to Susie and her husband Gabe. And when Anna’s adoptive parents seem to overreact to the fact she contacted them at all, Susie becomes convinced that Anna needs her help.
But is Anna’s own behaviour simply what you’d expect from someone recovering from a traumatic childhood? Or are there other secrets at play here – secrets Susie has also been hiding for the last fifteen years?
The Girl Before is a book that put author JP Delaney on the domestic noir map. This million-copy bestselling author is back with another thrilling release. My Darling Daughter is a story of lies, locked truths, guilt, trauma and family ties. Full of darkness and possibility, My Darling Daughter is a compulsive page-turner.
Susie Jukes is a singer who has experienced a great deal of heartbreak and sadness in her quest to become a mother with her husband Gabe. But Susie’s life is about to get a whole lot more complicated when she is contacted by a girl who claims to be her lost daughter. Fifteen years ago Susie was forced to make one of the most difficult decisions of her life, to give her baby daughter up for adoption. It is a decision that has haunted Susie, but she has also kept this secret under wraps from her loved ones. Susie reaches out to her lost daughter and when they reunite, it is clear that Anna is unhappy with her adoptive parents. Susie decides to give Anna all the help she needs. But Anna’s behaviour sends alarm bells ringing soon after she sets foot in Susie’s home. It is clear that Anna is traumatised, but how far will Anna go to make Susie pay for her past mistakes?
A multiple perspective novel, My Darling Daughter is an engrossing and chilling read. Delaney’s latest was quite a close and unnerving novel, which kept me thoroughly engaged from the start. I liked getting stuck into the thoughts, feelings and movements of Delaney’s three core leads. I think Delaney did a superb job of expressing the different personalities, emotions and actions of these contrasted main characters. I was able to readily sympathise with Susie, the mother of this tale. I also felt bad for Gabe as her partner shouldering this new responsibility. I have no words for Anna. What a manipulative piece of work she proved to be!
A careful read through the final pages of My Darling Daughter really reiterated what this book was about. Not only is this story a dark home life noir, it is also a strong issue-based book. Delaney raises some important awareness around adoption, infertility, miscarriage, motherhood, choice, ownership, control, sexual relationships, abuse, the drug trade, exploitation, childhood health, loss, trauma and marriage in My Darling Daughter. Every theme dominates the pages of this novel, helping to produce a consuming narrative that is virtually impossible to put down. The ripping pace and bite sized chapters encourage the reader to race through this one at top speed. I couldn’t believe some of the acts committed in this novel, but there is actually some ring of truth to the scenario raised in My Darling Daughter. Make sure you read Delaney’s acknowledgements at the end of the book.
Full of doubt, unreliability, plot surprises and family puzzles, My Darling Daughter is a winning read for domestic suspense fans.
My Darling Daughter by JP Delaney is published by Hachette Australia on September 13th 2022. $32.99.
To learn more about the author of My Darling Daughter, JP Delaney visit here.
*Thanks is extended to Hachette Australia for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.