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The Good Daughters: A Novel

The Good Daughters: A Novel

Написано Joyce Maynard

Озвучено Joyce Maynard, Rebecca Tuttle и Jeff Woodman


The Good Daughters: A Novel

Написано Joyce Maynard

Озвучено Joyce Maynard, Rebecca Tuttle и Jeff Woodman

оценки:
3.5/5 (54 оценки)
Длина:
9 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Oct 12, 2010
ISBN:
9780062006950
Формат:
Аудиокнига

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Описание

The best-selling author of Labor Day returns with a spellbinding novel about friendship, family secrets, and the strange twists of fate that shape our lives.

The good daughters: they were born on the same day, in the same small New Hampshire hospital, into families that could hardly have been less alike. Ruth Plank is an artist and a romantic with a rich, passionate, imaginative life. The last of five girls born to a gentle, caring farmer and his stolid wife, she yearns to soar beyond the confines of the land that has been her family's birthright for generations.

Dana Dickerson is a scientist and realist whose faith is firmly planted in the natural world. Raised by a pair of capricious drifters who waste their lives on failed dreams, she longs for stability and rootedness.

Different in nearly every way, Ruth and Dana share a need to make sense of who they are and to find their places in a world in which neither has ever truly felt she belonged. They also share a love for Dana's wild and beautiful older brother, Ray, who will leave an indelible mark on both their hearts.

Told in the alternating voices of Ruth and Dana, The Good Daughters follows these "birthday sisters" as they make their way from the 1950s to the present. Master storyteller Joyce Maynard chronicles the unlikely ways the two women's lives parallel and intersect – childhood and adolescence to first loves, first sex, marriage, and parenthood; from the deaths of parents to divorce, the loss of home, and the loss of a beloved partner – until past secrets and forgotten memories unexpectedly come to light, forcing them to reevaluate themselves and each other.

Moving from rural New Hampshire to a remote island in British Columbia to the '70s Boston art-school scene, The Good Daughters is an unforgettable story about the ties of home and family, the devastating force of love, the healing power of forgiveness, and the desire to know who we are.

A HarperAudio production.

Издатель:
Издано:
Oct 12, 2010
ISBN:
9780062006950
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Также доступно как...

Также доступно как книгеКниге

Об авторе

Joyce Maynard is the author of twelve books of fiction and nonfiction, including the memoir At Home in the World, translated into seventeen languages, and the New York Times–bestselling novel Labor Day. Maynard’s most recent novel, After Her, also tells a story of sex and murder.    A former reporter with the New York Times and longtime performer with the Moth, Maynard teaches writing at Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, and makes her home in Northern California. 


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  • (3/5)
    I'm so disappointed that I didn't care for this book more, because I find Maynard's writing to be very engrossing. Her words can swallow me up and take me wherever she wants me to go. And, she did that with this novel as well; however, the book just felt like it had a cloud hanging over it - just too much gloom. Also, I didn't care for the way in which the details were revealed, because it seemed to never reach a climax. Well, it did, but I already knew it, so it felt like it just plodded on. Disappointing for me, but others will love it. Especially if you are a Maynard fan.Originally posted on: Thoughts of Joy
  • (4/5)
    The Good Daughters is the story of two women who were born on the same day in the same New Hampshire hospital. Their families could not have been more different, and yet their parents kept in touch, however superficially, throughout their lives. As much as the story drew me in and kept me reading, there was something about it that was off. Early on, I started putting sticky arrows on entire phrases that were repeated. Yes, I know Edwin talked about the difference in milk fat content between Holsteins and Guernsey’s but I didn’t need to hear that more than once. Yes, Ray is lanky with blue eyes; I get it. There are many other inexplicable examples.I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. It was an interesting story with a first person, alternating narrative. I normally like this method but in this case, maybe half the book in Ruth’s voice and the other half in Dana’s would have been an improvement as I kept having to think about who was who. Or maybe the entire book in Dana’s voice as she was the character who was most fully drawn. I would recommend as a book to read when you’re in the mood for something light. It really did have its good moments. The only other book I’ve read by Maynard is Labor Day, which I loved.
  • (3/5)
    This book is a bit more of a literary style than what I usually choose to read. The basic story is that two girls were born on the same day at the same hospital and that, through the years, the one mother kept trying to keep the two families in touch with each other. I guessed the plot twist before it was revealed, and before the daughters in the book figured it out. The first family (the Planks) is a farming family with 5 girls--only the youngest daughter feels out of place in her family. She likes art but also seems to be the only one of the daughters who cares much about the farm. This family runs a roadside stand to sell items produced on their farm, particularly strawberries. The father even works at creating a new variety of strawberries. The mother insists on a yearly visit to the second family (the Dickersons), in particular to see how the "birthday sister" is getting on.The Dickersons consist of a mother who is an artist (who often seems to ignore her children for her art) and a father who is always seeming to have a get-rich-quick scheme that never quite works out (who eventually leaves the family). The children are a son (who eventually ends up attracted to the Planks youngest daughter) and a daughter born on the same day as the Planks' youngest daughter. For a while, the Dickerson family visits the roadside stand to buy strawberries. The Dickerson daughter is interested in growing things and raising animals (vs. the Barbies her mother is buying her at every opportunity). Eventually, the Planks father passes his strawberry project on to the Dickerson daughter. In the end, the two "birthday sisters" unite over the Plank family farm.
  • (5/5)
    What a heartwarming, cozy, feel good read.....a sweet, nostalgic book...but with all good things there usually are regrets, heartbreak, and secrets. I really enjoyed this book...you will be surprised at who/what the "good daughters" turn out to be and will also learn some fun agricultural facts about fruits and vegetables.Dana and Ruth were born on the same day, but they came from two completely different backgrounds. Dana Dickerson had a childhood that wasn't stable, and Ruth Plank had one that was totally what a childhood should be. Dana's parents were flighty, moved around, and their father never held a job for too long...her mother was an artist and acted as though she didn't even have any children. Dana actually never even called her parents Mom and Dad. Ruth's parents were very down to earth, had a farm to take care of, made sure their children were taken care of, and were called Mom and Dad.Ruth's mother felt some sort of kinship with Dana's mother since their children were both born on the same day, even though Dana's mother laughed at Ruth. Ruth's mother would make a point of visiting the Dickersons each year even though it was a long trip and as usual an uneventful, uncomfortable, and unfriendly occasion.The book continued by describing the lives of the two families during the 1950's with the focus on the girls and their choices of careers and partners that of course had been affected their by their family and childhood. I really enjoyed the book...it was during the time I was a child, and I could relate to some of the situations...if you liked The Glass Castle, you will like this as well. My rating is a 5/5. Great story.
  • (4/5)
    A lovley story, slightly melancholy. Lots of twists and turns.
  • (4/5)
    Awesome novel. I love it. You can join in NovelStar writing contest with a theme "WEREWOLVES" Prices are amazing! https://author.starlight.ink/essay/index.html (PC) http://app.novelstar.top/index/index/special/id/87 or email any of the following editors; hardy@novelstar.top joye@novelstar.top lena@novelstar.top app.novelstar.top
  • (3/5)
    Ruth Plank and Dana Dickerson are born on the same day...July 4, 1950. Ruth's mother (Connie) declares that they are "birthday sisters" and maintains contact with the Dickersons even as the Dickersons move every year to another town or state. This need for contact is somewhat baffling to Ruth, who feels no attachment to Dana. The story spans about six decades in the lives of the two "sisters".It's an good book even though the big mystery is very easy to figure out. The characters are interesting and that's what kept me reading. I wanted to know how their lives played out....even if there had been no mysterious connection.
  • (5/5)
    What a heartwarming, cozy, feel good read.....a sweet, nostalgic book...but with all good things there usually are regrets, heartbreak, and secrets. I really enjoyed this book...you will be surprised at who/what the "good daughters" turn out to be and will also learn some fun agricultural facts about fruits and vegetables.Dana and Ruth were born on the same day, but they came from two completely different backgrounds. Dana Dickerson had a childhood that wasn't stable, and Ruth Plank had one that was totally what a childhood should be. Dana's parents were flighty, moved around, and their father never held a job for too long...her mother was an artist and acted as though she didn't even have any children. Dana actually never even called her parents Mom and Dad. Ruth's parents were very down to earth, had a farm to take care of, made sure their children were taken care of, and were called Mom and Dad.Ruth's mother felt some sort of kinship with Dana's mother since their children were both born on the same day, even though Dana's mother laughed at Ruth. Ruth's mother would make a point of visiting the Dickersons each year even though it was a long trip and as usual an uneventful, uncomfortable, and unfriendly occasion.The book continued by describing the lives of the two families during the 1950's with the focus on the girls and their choices of careers and partners that of course had been affected their by their family and childhood. I really enjoyed the book...it was during the time I was a child, and I could relate to some of the situations...if you liked The Glass Castle, you will like this as well. My rating is a 5/5. Great story.
  • (4/5)
    I was drawn into this story and read it in one day! I thought I had it all figured out and then there was a final twist. Good fodder for the nature vs nurture discussion.
  • (3/5)
    This book is neither really good or really bad. The surprises aren’t all that surprising and there was no shock and awe ending. The story line was pretty predictable I knew what was coming before it happened. What kept me reading? The characters. They were likable. The book spans 5 decades following the ‘birthday sisters’ Ruth and Dana from birth to middle age. I enjoyed their development as characters and was intrigued by their interplay with other members of the family especially Dana's older brother Ray. This book isn’t one that will leave an lasting imprint but it was enjoyable while it lasted. It was a nice light read.
  • (4/5)
    Predictable but still enjoyable, good characters.
  • (3/5)
    This book was easy to read, fast paced, but full of cliches and at least one factual error and the lack of explanation of the loss of a year between Ruth's high school graduation and her going to Woodstock (did she stay home all that year before going to art school?) makes me question the "professionalism" of this novel. It was an okay read for a couple of hot summer days but pretty unsubstantial overall. P.S. The factual error is the use of passports for Canada/U.S. travel in the 70's - they were not needed until post 9/11.
  • (3/5)
    A predictable plot (and so-called "twist"), rather flat characters, and average writing made this an uninteresting read for me. I couldn't love either Ruth or Dana, although I did like some of the descriptions of farm life and farming itself. Couldn't begin to understand the parents of either girl.
  • (4/5)
    Though the plot was predictable, I thought this was a very powerful novel.
  • (4/5)
    When I first read the summary of The Good Daughters I figured it would end up being a 'switched at birth' plot, but really it turned out to be a story that focuses on two girls lives as they struggle trying to find their places in the world. The chapters alternate between Ruth and Dana, through love, secrets, and loss, as we follow them through their adult lives.Ruth Plank was born into a family that owned a lucrative farm. With just her and her sisters, her parents no longer had any hope of passing the farm down to a son as was the custom with previous Plank generations. Her father accepted this outcome and loved all of his girls equally and was not shy in showing his pride for his lovely family of daughters. Ruth just cannot understand why her relationship with her mother is such a struggle through her whole life.Dana Dickerson is born to a family that cannot seem to put roots down in any one area. She finds herself longing for stability and a place to call home. The Plank family seems to show up at their doorstep for a visit at least once a year and although the Dickerson's don't look forward to these visits, Dana does enjoy spending time with Edwin, Ruth's father, as he is always generous in sharing agricultural information with her.As much as Dana enjoys agriculture, Ruth finds an artistic side of her just waiting to burst out of her skin. She has no desire at all to join her sisters in the farmwork, except for managing the small roadside vegetable stand. Through the work that she does in the stand she finds a special place in her heart for the farm that helps her develop a closer relationship with her father.As truths and secrets are revealed in the book I found myself getting angry with Ruth's parents, Edwin and Connie Plank. Before I knew it, I was all upset with the story as I couldn't imagine the path that Edwin and Connie decided to take. Connie especially frustrated me as she appeared to be such a God-fearing and strong-willed woman, but then I came to understand why her character reacted the way that she did. Everything did come full circle for me in this novel that let me find the appreciation that this book deserves.I think this book would make a great book club selection with themes of love, family, secrets, and loss. As I was reading it I could only imagine the different comments that would be made from various members of my group. I did enjoy this novel and I'm confident that many of you would also!
  • (3/5)
    I liked this book though I did know where it was leading from very early on.The story is told in the alternating chapters and voices of Ruth and Dana. Each giving through their own words what was happening in their lives and how they understood it.For me, I found myself identifying with Ruth the most. The relationship she had with her beloved father was very much the same as the one I had with mine. I relived out walks, our talks and how it didnt matter where he went as long as I could go with him.While I dont understand the reasons of why the families choose to do things the way they did, it was interesting to try to understand. Short chapters made it very easy to read just one more.Recommended for anyone who likes a family story that will touch you and make you laugh at the same time.
  • (4/5)
    Sometimes a book isn’t about the dramatic unveiling of mysteries and secrets.When I picked up this book, when I read the back of it, that short summary that talked about “birthday sisters”, I guessed immediately what the “twist” of the story would be – so it was with a bit of a sigh that I opened up the book.Then I was blown away by how the world came to life with just that opening scene.Here is what The Good Daughters taught me. It taught me that a good story is told in the small scenes that chronicle the lives of two very different girls/women. It taught me that a tragic mistake, or circumstance, or “mystery” isn’t the story, it’s just a piece of the puzzle. It taught me that love always finds a place to manifest itself, even if it’s unexpected.So while I could do the obvious and berate Joyce Maynard for writing a book with such an overused story, I won’t.. because it wasn’t used as a plot device – instead it was just part of the story tat helped tie things together, and I loved it for that.I loved the descriptions, both of the country and the people. I felt connected to both Ruth and Dana, but never intimately involved in their lives, more as an outsider watching through a window as the story developed. It was a strange feeling for me, because I usually want to be so emotionally invested, but I didn’t need to be with this book, because I knew how the story ended. But that didn’t make it any less interesting and that is the mark, to m
  • (3/5)
    Good storyline and likable characters, but unfortunately also a strong element of predictability.
  • (5/5)
    Joyce Maynard's previous novel, Labor Day, has been languishing on my bookshelf and making me feel guilty for at least a year. Still, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to read and review her latest novel, The Good Daughters.The Plank and Dickerson families both gave birth to daughters at the same small town, New Hampshire hospital, within hours of each other. The two families couldn't be more different. The Planks are a strong farming family while the Dickersons were bohemian artists. Still, from that point forward, Mrs. Plank considered Dana Dickerson her daughter Ruth's birthday sister. After the Dickersons moved away from their community, the Planks made a point of traveling to visit them every summer. It is clear that this relationship meant more to the Planks than the Dickersons. Although the girls themselves really didn't feel the birthday sisters connection, they were each drawn to each other's family. Ruth had an artistic flair and an interested in Ray Dickerson and Dana loved everything there was to know about farming. Soon, each young woman would come to terms with who they are and the connections their families share.There are many secrets in that New Hampshire community. As readers, we're clued in to the driving force behind Ruth and Dana's story rather early. Normally this would have bothered me, but it was perfect for The Good Daughters. It definitely added some expense and spice to the story.From the very beginning, I didn't want to put this novel down. It was a great read that made me fall in love with Joyce Maynard's story-telling and writing. In telling the story of these two girls brought together by outside circumstances, she also highlighted how easily children place their parents in the same kind of box they believe they were raised in. Unlike children, parents are often not let out until it's too late.Final ThoughtsIf you have some Christmas booty to spend (or are just looking for a good read), The Good Daughters would make an excellent choice.
  • (4/5)
    This was a pleasure to read. It was smooth. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone but me, but smooth is the best word I can come up with. The words just flowed together. The relationships were described so naturally and every situation, feeling, and event just fit. Beautiful style. I don't know if it matters that I guessed the ending about a quarter of the way through the book. It didn't matter to me, this isn't a mystery novel. Even though I was quite sure of the ending, the journey to get there was great.
  • (4/5)
    Very nice book. Easy read. Interesting and straightforward story about two daughters that are both born on the same day, therefore becoming "birthday sisters." One is born the fourth daughter of a third generation farming family. And the other is born to a hippy couple. From chapter to chapter the book switches from the voice of one girl to the other and follows them as they grow up.
  • (4/5)
    With the odd twist in this novel, which is easy to spot from the beginning, it would have been easy to turn this book into a voyeuristic tale. Instead Maynard creates an interesting and engrossing character-focused story. I couldn't put it down.
  • (3/5)
    A beautiful interweaving of the stories of two girls, Dana and Ruth, who were born on the same day in the same hospital. Going back and forth between the two girls' lives as they experience childhood, relationships and marriage, Joyce Maynard provides insight into the emotions of these two likeable characters. Each experiences a very different childhood, yet there are similarities as well - each girl is missing something important. I won't give away the twist here, although I saw it coming early on in the book. Altogether a good read with characters I cared about.
  • (5/5)
    A two-sided tale of girlhood that lurches clumsily into womanhood from the perspectives of oddly matched "birthday sisters." Two women born in a small town hospital on the same day, Dana and Ruth couldn't be more dissimilar.Wrapped in the Plank family's farm life, Ruth's life is driven by the seasons, dependable, regular. Taller and thinner with a strong artistic bend, Ruth struggles to fit in with her four practical sisters and gain the approval of her often-dour mother, Connie. The sunspot in her life is father Edwin, whose love of plant life is only overshadowed by his love for his girls. Connie often chastisement Ruth using Dana as a guidepost, hoping Ruth might better mirror her birthday sister. Edwin quietly buffers Ruth against Connie's aversion with his stolid support, ambling about the property with her in tow, spending time with her more than with his other daughters, encouraging her interest in art.Stuck in a life as predictable as a hailstorm, Dana organizes her family's bills, pays their rent and covers other practicalities that her parents don't seem to recognize as important. While her father, George, follows his next big idea down disappearing trailheads, awaiting paydays that never come. Dana's mother Valerie paints in her studio to the point of ignoring the rest of her life, existing rather vacantly on the outskirts of motherhood. Left on their own, Dana and her older brother Ray, a sensitive soul who excels at everything he tries, dream of leaving home.It's Connie Plank who names Ruth and Dana as "birthday sisters," insisting they maintain a close-knit relationship for that reason alone, despite their divergent interests. The Planks only vacation each year is a quick visit to the Dickerson home, wherever that might be, and in return the Dickersons visit the Plank family farm stand each summer, around the girls' July birthdays.Remarkably, it's on one of these farm visits that Edwin Plank takes an interest in Dana Dickerson as an unofficial understudy, sharing his farming know-how built up from six generations, which leads to Dana's burgeoning interest in farming herself, and, ultimately, connects her to Ruth in a way their shared birthday never did.A tender, compelling read, Maynard has interwoven the girls' stories beautifully. Two heartfelt portrayals of the outsider that will be easily enjoyed — even by readers who aren't — and embraced by book clubs everywhere.
  • (4/5)
    I loved this book. It was a wonderful story with a twist that kept you listening. So great and so glad I listened to it!
  • (4/5)
    Like her previous novel Labor Day, Joyce Maynard's new book The Good Daughters uses a plot device that strains credulity in the service of a moving story about family. The plot device here is Switched at Birth,which is what happened to our two heroines Ruth and Dana. Each feels like an alien in her family, and feels unloved by her mother.The different paths taken by the two women raise interesting questions about nature vs. nurture, and about where people learn resilience and strength. This is a fast, easy read, yet a deceptively deep novel that would make a good selection for a book discussion group.
  • (3/5)
    I usually enjoy Maynard's writing, but this felt predictable and boring. I was disappointed. If you've not read any of Maynard's latest novels, read Labor Day instead.
  • (3/5)
    Throughout Part 1 of the good daughters I was giving this book 5 stars for character development. Watching the two daughters pretty much raise themselves and delve into their interests was fascinating. Following the development of Dana both professionally and personally, through the rest of book maintained the promise of the beginning. I especially liked the development of the agricultural symbolism of the good daughters of both the strawberry and human variety. Unfortunately, early in part 2 a strange blight seemed to effect Ruth, stunted her growth, and turned her into a specimen not worth reproduction. In accordance with the agricultural symbolism, Maynard places heavy emphasis on the importance of nature versus nurture in the maturation, and lack of maturation of the girls. Perhaps Ruth's strange blight is a manifestation of sexual schizophrenia. Unlike plants, however, people have personalities and schizophrenia is not manifested in only one area of the personality, so I have no idea what Maynard was trying to do with the character. One star deducted for inconsistent character development of one of the main characters.Then I had to deduct one big star for the tiresome use of The Big Secret plot device. Why, oh why do authors insist on scooping up a big dose of secret and plopping it on characters who remain clueless while the reader grows more and more nauseated trying to work her way through it? Thus a book that should have been 5 star if it had matched Dana's story with something equally consistent from Ruth and, at the least, greatly diluted The Big Secret effect ended up with a disappointing 3 stars. Maynard thanked her editor for all her help. I think she needed a great deal more.
  • (4/5)
    I have been reading Joyce Maynard's work for many years. I love her essays about domestic life for their detail and appreciation of the natural world. The Good Daughters contains these elements and reads like a story that you might hear in your community about people that you know. The plot twist was predictable, but I was unable to figure out exactly how it came about, which kept me reading. The descriptive passages are beautiful, lush pictures of farm life in New Hampshire. Very enjoyable read.
  • (5/5)
    I received this book as an early review copy and loved it. The story chronicled the lives of two "neighbors" beginning from birth and ending very late in their lives. Each woman had her own hardships and faced loss in one way or another. From the very beginning, the book alluded to the eventual plot twist so it really didn't come as a surprise. Even so, the book was a great read.