“An exceptional psychological thriller.” — Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
Fans of B.A. Paris and Shari Lapena will love this gripping novel of psychological suspense set in an upscale Southern California community by USA Today bestselling author Kaira Rouda.
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 oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of anti-depressants, she’s barely even left the house. Now that’s all about to change.
It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary and three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days—and nights—at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl—dutiful and loving. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed?
The bonds between mothers and daughters, and husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together…
A PopSugar Best Book of Spring!
“Will hit you right in the heart” — Bustle
“Leaves you wanting more.” — Liv Constantine, author of the national bestseller The Last Mrs. Parrish
“A smart, wickedly plotted psychological thriller brimming with dark surprises” — Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author
“Intense, creepy, and classic Rouda. A chilling story, told so well. Don’t miss it!” — J. T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author
“B.A. Paris and Shari Lapena fans will fall head over heels for this suspenseful psychological thriller set in an upscale Southern California community.” — PopSugar
“The Gone Girl-style domestic suspense novel follows Jane, a narcissistic perfectionist dealing with the death of her daughter.” — Washington Post
“Rouda’s portrayal of Jane is fabulously compelling and darkly hilarious…The resolution is satisfying, but the ride is so diabolically twisted and entertaining that readers will be sorry when it come to a stop.” — Shelf Awareness
“No one creates a narcissist like Rouda…. A wow read that will have you floored.” — Bookstr
Jane Harris, the unreliable narrator of this exceptional psychological thriller from Rouda (Best Day Ever), has sequestered herself in her gorgeous oceanfront home in a gated community in Orange County, Calif., overcome with grief following the death of her college-age daughter, Mary, in an accident a year earlier. Appearances are important to Jane perfect house, perfect family, perfect image of mourning. Now that she has decided to move on, Jane finds her husband, David, distant, working long hours and avoiding her while younger daughter Betsy is wrapped up in her high school graduation, which is just four days away. Against Jane's wishes, David schedules a celebration of Mary's life before Betsy graduates. Rouda gradually shifts reader sympathy for Jane with her "complicated grief" to disgust at her toxic need for control. Selfish and judgmental, Jane has more than just boundary issues as she monitors her family's every move and email with the spyware she clandestinely installs. The stakes rise when Jane receives a note suggesting that Mary's death was no accident. Suspense fans will be amply rewarded.
The Favorite Daughter
Predictable but intriguing because the narrator (wife) is so eerie. Good not great, but worth a read.
The Favorite Daughter
This book was very good. It kept me guessing until the near end. Would love to read more like it!
Obvious plot, terrible writing
I can’t believe this story is being touted as having ‘twists’, the plot is clear from chapter one. The narrator is like a caricature of an unreliable narrator. As if written by a 5th grader for 5th graders. Like anyone who is even considering this book, I love a good domestic thriller, but this ain’t it.