Title: The Favourite Daughter
Author: Kaira Rouda
Published: April 15th 2019
Publisher: HQ Fiction
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Psychological, Thriller, Suspense
Rating: 4 stars
The perfect home.
The perfect family.
The perfect lie.
Jane Harris lives in a sparkling home in an oceanfront gated community in Orange County. It’s a place that seems too beautiful to be touched by sadness. But exactly one year ago, Jane’s eldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident, and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of antidepressants, she’s barely even left the house…until now.
As Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear she’s missed a lot in the last year. Her husband has been working long days – and nights – at the office. Her daughter Betsy seems distant, even secretive. And Jane receives a note warning her that Mary’s death wasn’t an accident. What really happened on the day that Mary died? And who is lying to whom in this family?
The bonds between mothers and daughters, husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together…
The illusion of a happy home, a happy family and a perfect life, created by Jane Harris, Kaira Rouda’s lead protagonist in The Favourite Daughter, is actually something much more convoluted and sinister. The Favourite Daughter is an explosive thrill ride, presenting the reader with some unthinkable situations, as they try to wade through the details and uncover the real Jane Harris, a slippery woman who proves to be very hard to understand.
I was reminded just how much I enjoyed Kaira Rouda’s writing style and narrative direction when I selected The Favourite Daughter to review. In 2017, I read Kaira Rouda’s novel, Best Day Ever and I was taken aback by the strength of her unreliable narrator and central protagonist of the novel, Paul. In The Favourite Daughter, we are again presented with an unreliable narrator in Jane, a device that Rouda employs with finesse. We know Jane has been using antidepressants and she has withdrawn from life for over a year. She is a woman in haze, utterly consumed by grief, revenge and hatred. Jane is a complicated woman, who teeters on being completely despicable, to a someone you feel incredibly sorry for. It is a strong divide that will be sure to test the feelings and minds of all readers.
Rouda’s narrative is finely plotted and the pace is maintained to a steady beat. There is a sense of uncertainty that follows this book that works to entertain the audience. Rouda clearly has her hard core psychological thriller fans in mind as she issues plenty of plot flicks and spins. With the lines of reality and delusion often blurring, the reader is able to play a key role in uncovering the truth behind the carefully built facade of the Harris family. The Favourite Daughter is a real nail biter at times, reminding the audience of just how warped situations and human beings can become if they are pushed too far!
The Favourite Daughter reminds us of the deviant personalities in life, those who walk on the wild side and those who go that step too far in the quest for perfection. Rouda has issued her readers with yet another memorable egomaniac in her latest novel, proving that those who have a weakness for quality psychological suspense novels should not miss this one.
The Favourite Daughter by Kaira Rouda was published on 15th April 2019 by HQ Fiction. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Favourite Daughter, Kaira Rouda, visit here.
*Please note that a free copy of this book was provided to me for review purposes through Beauty & Lace and HQ Fiction. To read the original review on the Beauty & Lace website please visit here.