Review: Just Like Other Daughters by Colleen Faulkner

Title: Just Like Other Daughters

Author: Colleen Faulkner

Published: Kensington October 2013

Status: Read on October 21, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher via netgalley}

My Thoughts:

Just Like Other Daughters is a moving and thought-provoking story by author Collen Faulkner, better known for her bodice ripper romances.

Alicia Richards should be delighted that her twenty five year old daughter has fallen in love for the first time. She has never wanted more for Chloe than to be happy but Alicia is plagued with misgivings about the relationship because Chloe has Downs Syndrome and her beau, Thomas, is intellectually challenged.

As a parent, Alicia is loving and supportive of Chloe, even if perhaps a little over protective. She doesn’t always have all the answers but it is obvious that Alicia has always done the best she can for her daughter’s health, safety and well being. Chloe’s sexuality and her relationship with Thomas, is a challenge Alicia never expected to face and she finds it difficult to reconcile her daughter’s desires with her limitations. Faulkner’s exploration of Alica’s conflicting thoughts and emotions is compassionate and honest. I could empathise with Alicia’s very real concerns about the situation, as well as understand her wish to support her daughter’s independence.

Alicia is a well rounded, realistically depicted character, not just Chloe’s mother, she is also a respected college professor juggling the demands of her career with single parenting and the vagaries of an old house. She has been divorced from Chloe’s lecherous jerk of a father for sometime but is still struggling from the fall out of her marriage collapse and her ex’s disinterest in his daughter. With her mother long passed and her father largely absent from her life, Alicia has found support in her friendship with neighbour, Jin but she still hopes to find a romantic relationship.

Though primarily written from Alicia’s first person perspective, Faulkner also provides us with brief glimpses of Chloe’s viewpoint throughout the novel. I thought these snippets helped to develop Chloe’s character, illustrating her emotional range, as well as her cognitive limitations.

The author also touches on the attitudes of others to relationships between those with intellectual challenges, and the conflict between practical concerns and well meaning idealism that surrounds the issue. A scene involving a doctor who refused to provide Chloe with birth control struck me particularly, personally I thought he was totally irresponsible.

Perhaps the only flaw in this novel for me involved the ending, which I thought was abrupt and somewhat unresolved. An epilogue would have been nice simply because I badly wanted things to work out for Alicia.

I found Just Like Other Daughters to be an emotional and affecting read, a story about love in all its permutations, its joys and its sorrows, its rewards and its price. This is a wonderful novel and I am happy to recommend it.

 

Available to Purchase From

Kensington I Amazon US I BookDepository

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cleopatralovesbooks
    Oct 24, 2013 @ 16:28:01

    I wasn’t sure how to take the blurb for this one and wondered whether I’d like it or not. Thank you for the review.

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  2. bookgeeking
    Oct 24, 2013 @ 23:05:40

    It’s not my usual type of book, but looks really good. Thank you for the review.

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  3. Annie
    Oct 25, 2013 @ 00:51:54

    Gosh, quite a change from her bodice ripper repertoire that’s for sure! I’m glad this one delivered on it’s premise and managed to impress you. It’s nice when an author can switch gears and really surprise you. I have to say I applaud Colleen for tackling such a sensitive/controversial area and I am keen to Alicia – she sounds like an incredible character.

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    • Colleen Faulkner
      Oct 26, 2013 @ 00:15:37

      Thank-you, Annie. It was a challenge dealing with this subject openly and honestly, but as a mother, it was a story I needed to tell. LOL about my “bodice rippers”. Those were published many years ago– but they were good books. I’ve been publishing under different pseudonyms for years so I never went away; this is just the first book published under my own name in a while.

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  4. Colleen Faulkner
    Oct 26, 2013 @ 00:12:14

    Shellyrae– Thank you so much for your wonderful review. I’m thrilled that you “got” this story. This is my first foray into “women’s fiction” (whatever that means) so I’ve been excited and nervous about its release. This is the first book published under my own name in years as I’ve been publishing in other genres with various pseudonyms. Thank you, thank you. You made my day!

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