Julia’s Daughters by Colleen Faulkner
Julia Maxton can’t imagine anything worse than losing one of her three daughters—until the day seventeen-year-old Haley runs a stop sign, killing her younger sister Caitlin. Six weeks after the crash, the family is falling apart. Julia struggles not to show hostility toward Haley, but her deep-rooted anger won’t go away. Her husband, Ben, has drifted away emotionally. Their youngest daughter, Izzy, is lost in the shuffle. And despite Haley’s insistence that she’s fine, her actions scream otherwise.
Fearing that she’s about to lose a second child, Julia decides to take Haley on a cross-country drive. Maybe somewhere between Nevada and Maine they can bridge the gulf between them. But first there will be painful questions to face—is Julia a good mother? Did she secretly love responsible, respectful Caitlin more than defiant Haley? Can Haley ever find peace with her mother—and herself—again?
In Colleen Faulkner’s most thought-provoking and complex novel to date, an unthinkable tragedy becomes the starting place for a powerful journey toward healing and hope. Honest and unforgettable, Julia’s Daughters explores the surprising ways that families—even the most fractured—can save each other, over and over again.[Amazon]
I received this book for free last June from Kobo for joining Kobo VIP. It took me a year to finish reading it. I started it last year, but it was too much for me to handle at the time. This is probably going to be the toughest review I have had to pen in a while. There was supposed to be a personal post between the previous book review and this one, but not everything goes according to plan and I don’t know what I want to say on a personal level just yet.
The writing style of Colleen Faulkner is incredible. This is my first novel by her, so I am not sure if it is the same throughout all of her stories, but this one impressed me enough that I will be checking out some more of her work. The story is told from first person point of view, from the alternating viewpoints of the mother and two surviving sisters. It just starts two weeks after the tragic car accident that took the life of the middle daughter, Caitlin. The oldest daughter, Haley, was the one driving during the accident.
I found myself relating to these characters throughout the whole story. They are so realistic that more than once, I found myself crying and laughing with them. The grieving process is not sugar-coated in this novel. It’s so real that I could feel the pain the characters were going through. Izzy, the youngest, constantly reminded me of my youngest sister. Nothing I could put my finger on exactly, but it was there. This book also left me thinking: what if? If I was the mom and this happened to my family, how could we deal? Could I help my oldest when she needed me the most? Would I blame her? It’s only human nature to do so, right? It’s something I personally hope I never have to find out.
The emotions throughout this book are raw and real, it is a very moving story. It deals with grief, moving on, being their for each other, and the importance of family. It has made its way to my favorites shelf and it earned it’s five-star rating. If you like literature, women’s fiction, or novels about the importance of family – check this book out. You won’t regret it.
PLEASE NOTE – this book does deal with some heavy situations and may not be appropriate for kids or young adults. Such situations include self harm, drug use, disrespectful behavior, and sexual references.
Some of my FAVORITE Quotes from the Book:
- “But it’s just one stupid thing I’ve done, in a whole lifetime of stupid things.”
- “Somehow, somewhere in that burning sting, I can breathe again.”
- “I’m youre mother. You don’t have to like me. You don’t even have to love me, but you’ll show me the respect I deserve. Do I make myself clear?”
- “I don’t want to feel better. I deserve to feel shitty. I deserve it forever.”
- “Mom’s blind to her daughter’s shortcomings. All of ours. She’s always been that way.”
- “A person can only give what they have.”
- “‘No, I don’t want you to stop talking to me,” Haley tells me. ‘I don’t want you to ever do that again. Okay? I don’t care if you’re mad at me. Because we’re still sisters. Okay?'”