Daughter of Mine by Fiona Lowe

In brief: The Chirnwell family are outstanding members of their small local community – on the outside. On the inside, the family members all have their problems and secrets.

The good: Jam packed full of drama.

The not-so-good: I did lose track of who was who and what their secrets were initially.

Why I chose it: Thanks to Harlequin for the copy of the book.

Year: 2017

Pages: 498

Publisher: Harlequin Mira

Setting: Predominantly country Australia

Rating: 7 out of 10

Fiona Lowe is another author I’ve always meant to read, having heard her speak a few times. Daughter of Mine is her first women’s fiction book, but she is an award winning author of romance novels. When you combine the history of a family in rural Victoria with many explosive secrets, it’s sure to be an interesting read!

The story is about the three Chirnwell sisters (Harriet, Xara and Georgie) and their mother Edwina. The three sisters are very different – Harriet is a surgeon with far too much time on her hands to mull over propriety, appearances and the ‘correct’ way of doing things. Xara lives on a farm with her husband and children – it’s chaos, messy and loving. Georgie teaches in Melbourne and hiding a broken heart. I found Harriet a pain in the neck – for someone who is apparently so learned, she doesn’t seem to do much work. (Also, she has far too much of an ego – she’s a country surgeon, not the head of neurosurgery at a leading hospital). During the story, you could say that she does learn a few home truths which I frankly rejoiced in! Xara and Georgie are much more likable. Xara copes admirably with her disabled daughter, although I wish she had stood up to Harriet more earlier on the story. I kind of felt at times she was a doormat, but looking back Xara was just too tired to fight. Georgie was my favourite sister as she was much more relatable. She’s definitely hiding a bucket load of pain but she shuffles through the days, occasionally even with a smile on her face.

Edwina, their mother, has even more secrets to hide. These start to come to the fore early on when a convoy of classic cars appear in town. All of a sudden Edwina is reliving a time ago and meeting someone from her past which isn’t quite up to Harriet’s standards… Even Charlie, Harriet’s daughter has a big secret. There are so many secrets in this book that I found it a little difficult to keep track of at first! But it’s Fiona Lowe’s attention to detail that really shines through. She tells the reader what you need to know in memorable fashion. The sights, the sounds, the thoughts are all there. I could feel the rain as Georgie got caught in the storm on the way to the car, Edwina’s sense of disorientation when her memories of the sixties came flooding back…

If you’re after a story full of drama, secrets and lies within a family, Daughter of Mine is right up your alley!

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