Friday, April 15, 2011
The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers
Lulu and Merry’s childhood was never ideal, but on the day before Lulu’s tenth birthday their father drives them into a nightmare. He’s always hungered for the love of the girl’s self-obsessed mother; after she throws him out, their troubles turn deadly.
Lulu’s mother warned her to never let him in, but when he shows up, he’s impossible to ignore. He bullies his way past ten-year-old Lulu, who obeys her father’s instructions to open the door, then listens in horror as her parents struggle. She runs for help and discovers upon her return that he’s murdered her mother, stabbed her sister, and tried to kill himself.
For thirty years, the sisters try to make sense of what happened. Their imprisoned father is a specter in both their lives, shadowing every choice they make. Though one spends her life pretending he’s dead, while the other feels compelled to help him, both fear that someday their imprisoned father’s attempts to win parole may meet success.
Although I know many people who have enjoyed this book, I didn't like it as much as I hoped to. It was unfortunate to see how the actions of one person affected the lives of their daughters for years to come. LuLu and Merry did not have a typical childhood when their father murdered their mother and their family abandoned them. These girls had to grow up in an orphanage before being put into a foster home. These girls felt as though they needed to be perfect so their foster family wouldn't give them back to the orphanage. Merry became a successful doctor while LuLu became a probation officer. Although both children succeeded in life, their emotional problems never healed completely. Their father tried to keep a hold on them throughout the years, while their mother's side of the family wanted nothing to do with them .
I'm sure this situation happens frequently and this book brings to light the unfortunate reality for many children of murderers. I did not find this book flowed together or was extremely interesting, but I would recommend it to those interested in gaining a glimpse into the lives of those affected by murder. It is an emotional and physical journey that is experienced by many when it shouldn't be.