Title: The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 400 pages
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
From the author of Remember Mia comes the tale of a young woman in search of her past, and the mother who will do anything to keep it hidden…
What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?
Dahlia Waller’s childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.
In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighboring farm, she’ll learn that in her mother’s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered…
The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt is a perplexing mystery about a woman who is determined to get to the bottom of her unconventional past. At the same time, she is also trying to uncover the truth about a victim of a violent crime.
Until returning to Aurora, TX, Dahlia Waller’s childhood was mostly nomadic as she and her mother, Memphis, moved from town to town. Frustrated by her mother’s refusal to answer her numerous questions about their past, Dahlia leaves town after graduating from high school only to move back fifteen years later. Not long after her return to Aurora, she stumbles across a woman buried in the woods and afterwards, she is plagued by strange visions that seem to be connected to the woman she just rescued. When her mom is found wandering far from home, Dahlia’s investigation about where Memphis was discovered turns up unexpected information that helps her unravel the mystery of her past.
The first quarter of the novel is a rather confusing since the chapters are narrated by different characters. The chapters alternate between points of view and with very little backstory of any of the narrators, it is a bit of a convoluted mess trying to figure out what is going on. The readers’ patience does finally pay off and a picture of where the story is headed eventually becomes clear. The overall storyline then becomes somewhat predictable and it is extremely easy to know where Memphis’s revelations are going to lead. The story arc with the woman Dahlia discovers in the woods feels mostly like an afterthought to the main storyline but it is completely wrapped up by novel’s end. The characters are interesting but they do not have much depth.
The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt is a little slow until about the halfway point when all of the various threads finally begin to come together. There are a few unexpected twists but overall, there are not many surprises as Dahlia finally learns the truth about her past.