Review of The Good Daughter by Jane Porter
Romantic, comfortable, and full of hope; The Good Daughter is a solid read and provides both the ease and escape of classic Chick Lit with the thoughtfulness and intrigue of more serious contemporary fiction. Focused on strong, independent, and yet wistful Kit Brennan, Jane Porter’s novel takes on the female experience as it transitions into a more mature stage in life and highlights the passion that can coexist with building on life experiences.
It is easy to root for Kit, as she makes significant discoveries about herself. The important balance between taking ownership of your own life experience and working within the confines of society or family expectations; the often leaping difference between what is best for us and what is perceived as best for us by our loved ones; the sacrifices an individual is capable of making willingly and selflessly, for those we care for.
While not quite as compelling or subtle as many books I’m drawn to, it can hold its own. The Good Daughter climbs itself out of the realm of stereotypical “chick lit beach books” by hitting some serious and sensitively-handled notes. Reminiscent of Jennifer Wiener in “Little Earthquakes” it deals with real, practical struggles and experiences of women in modern society. Kit finds passion when she is ready for it, not necessary when she plans to. She is able to realign herself with her own life as she prioritizes her needs and realizes the importance of taking risks. Tragedy often creates an atmosphere of growth, and this novel demonstrates that quite nicely.
This work has a somewhat classic pattern for the genre. While the struggles were handled gracefully and with authenticity, it was also reminiscent of more mass-produced romance novels. This isn’t a coincidence as the author writes those also… and you know, there is nothing wrong with that. No judging here. However, if you’re put off by the tidy, happy endings a la Bridget Jones’s Diary… this might not be the best fit for you.
I have not read the rest of the series (this is the second of three and all about the sisters of the family) but imagine I will. The Good Daughter was a pleasant, interesting story with descriptive character interactions and a comfortable rhythm to the narrative.
Want to scratch a similar itch? Here are some other books I’ve read and think relate:
- Babyville by Jane Green
- Little Earthquakes or Then Came You by Jennifer Wiener
- Bridget Jones’s Dairy by Helen Fielding
- Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes
PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.