The Murderer’s Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers (St. Martin’s Griffin; $14.99; 320 pages)
First-time novelist Randy Susan Meyers certainly knows how to draw a reader into her story while creating empathy for her characters. Young sisters Lulu and Merry become orphans in July of 1971 when their jealous father stabs their mother to death. The novel chronicles their major life events and experiences beginning with that fateful day in 1971 to December 2003.
The murder and the ensuing hardships shape the girls’ lives; however, Lulu and Merry are resilient and spunky kids who won’t succumb to being victims. The first quarter of the book is nearly overwhelming with sadness. Thankfully, the remainder of the book is rich with texture and emotion that are more easily processed.
Meyers gives the reader each sister’s perspective on what happens to them as they grow up via the chapter titles identifying whose narrative is being read. This device is well employed and is not the least bit gimmicky. The characters who factor prominently in shaping Lulu and Merry’s lives are their father, grandparents on both sides of the family and classmates. Their relatives exhibit the characteristics we can all recognize as being either frustrating or endearing.
A review copy was provided by the publisher.