Book review: Only Daughter, Anna Snoekstra

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As I briefly mentioned in my last post, I joined a book club! A real one with real people where you can go to a bar once a month and drink gin and talk about the thing you all love to do (read, obviously… and drink gin).

So, I went to my first proper meeting tonight and it was great, and so good to talk to people who enjoy the same things as I do. I also won next month’s book in the raffle – woohoo! Good start.

Anyway, January’s book was Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra, and I hated it. Not such a good start.

But hear me out. Bear in mind when I read it, I had just finished the BBC series The Missing, so this might have skewed my judgement, and the premises are very similar: girl goes missing, girl comes back years later, but is it really her? Nope.

Sorry! But that’s not a spoiler. You learn that pretty much immediately in the book. The plot line is more about what happened to the real daughter, why, and by whom?

The story is told from both the girls’ perspectives, alternating back and forth from 2003 when the real Rebecca went missing, and 2014 when the posing Rebecca appears.

This was definitely enough to get me intrigued, my attention was successfully caught by the blurb and I was ready for a juicy new thriller.

The story itself was good, but the actual writing was a bit of a let down. It was really easy to read but I felt like the sub-plots were predictable, disappointing and boring. If this was written better, and the plots and characters were more fleshed out, I really think I would have loved it.

The last thirty or so pages were filled with suspense and plot but sadly I felt like the rest of the book lacked this, and so many threads were left loose at the end! I imagine that this is so that Snoekstra can easily write up and sell a sequel but I just feel like it’s a bit of a cop out really, and I don’t think it’s fair on the reader to be left with so many unanswered questions.

The book is apparently being turned into a film, so it’ll be interesting to see if the how the characters and plot come across for that. I don’t think I’ll be rushing to see it though…

Have any of you read this book? What did you think? I know some people in the book club really liked it so would be interested in your opinions!

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