Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 7, 2017
Sisters Samantha ("Sam") and Charlotte ("Charlie") Quinn survived something truly horrific in their early teens. Even though they're both successful attorneys now, they've spent the last twenty eight years trying to cope with the events that transpired on 3-16-89. Though mental, physical and emotional anguish, self-destructive behavior, and a cold chasm separated the sisters, as did the miles, another tragedy brought them back together where their nightmare began all those years ago.
As someone who comes from a dysfunctional family myself, I found the tension between Sam and Charlie incredibly realistic. Their sniping, resentment, annoyances, unspoken thoughts, and temperamental outbursts were spot on. The dialog between these two sisters is simply brilliant.
And speaking of brilliant, the two girls are that and then some, especially Samantha. They got their smarts from their mother, "Gamma," [for gamma rays] a very high intellectual who worked for NASA at one time, and who is so smart she can't fathom making spaghetti or doing housework. Naturally, the concept of God is beyond her comprehension. Samantha came home from school one day to find her mother working out a huge mathematical equation on the kitchen window trying to figure out why her cake fell.
While both her daughters also are very smart, it's Sam who is most like her cold, elitist, genius mother, and they often clash. Charlie, on the other hand, also is super smart but she's the girl everyone likes: popular in school, lots of friends, and all that. She is everything Sam is not, including "Daddy's little girl."
Daddy is Rusty, a criminal defense lawyer in the small Georgia town of Pikeville, where he's loathed by the locals for successfully representing murderers, rapists, drug dealers, and every low-life imaginable. Rusty apparently is "OCD," unable to sit still, always talking, tapping, jangling or doing something, anything, including chain smoking despite serious heart problems. He "loves his daughters the way they need to be loved" but do they really know that?
When tragedy strikes that family, it is indirectly because of Rusty Quinn.
While I obviously loved this simultaneously sad, gripping, hilarious story, two things disappointed me. One is the language, a pet peeve of mine and a recurring complaint in all my reviews. While some profanity and obscenities would've been understandable for a couple of the characters in this book, it simply makes no sense to me that two uber-bright attorneys, Samantha and Charlotte, would resort to such language when they clearly are quite capable of expressing themselves [well above the average person] without the use of expletives.
My second disappointment came near the end when a one word misquote of scripture nearly blew the whole story for me. Apparently this was a huge gaffe on the part of the author because the scripture verse is given in two translations, the last being the clearest, and also where that one word was apparently accidentally omitted. While I can't explain the context without giving away both the story and the ending, suffice it to say a character supposedly did something by following this particular verse, which, as I noted, was misquoted, and therefore, wrong. And that changed everything. It took me a few minutes to overcome it, but the rest of the book was such a good read, I just went with it, and didn't let that error spoil it for me.
So, in a nutshell, yes, I do highly recommend "The Good Daughter." And I challenge each of you readers to decide for yourselves which one actually is the good daughter. Happy reading.