A Daughter’s a Daughter is a book that I should have read some 20 years back. And I am sure my reaction would have not only been different to the book, but I would have appreciated it much more. Anyway, the book highlights the relationship between a widowed mother and a young daughter. How they love each other but come in the way of those they love. Interspersed by the wisdom thrown in by a family friend and a family servant.
Been set in the early 20th century, the book gives a feel of how the most happening city of that time, London, used to be. How the people especially the elite ones lived and behaved. The pace is slow, the descriptions elaborate, mannerisms & expressions explicit, language floral and the air exuberant. If you are not a regular reader of the author or her contemporaries, it would take you a few pages to adjust to the language.
It is a simple story of a widowed mother who has a grown-up daughter. When the daughter is away for a vacation, the mother meets a widower and falls in love with him. And decides to marry him. But is obviously concerned about how the daughter would react to the news but inherently believing that she would be happy for her. But daughter just can not stand the man in her mother’s life. And mother decides to give up the man for daughter. What is interesting is what follows next. The mother considering that fact that she has sacrificed everything for her daughter goes on a rampage, becomes someone she is not, parties every night. And makes so many friends that she has no time left for herself or the daughter.
The daughter goes ahead and marries a man just for his money. And the mother just says’ do whatever you want, it is your decision’. In the end, both of them end up being unhappy. In a moment of realization, they realize that they have wanted each other to be unhappy. While pretending the other way round. There is an interesting character of Dame Laura, a wise woman who is always there to clarify the underneath to the protagonists as well as to the readers. She is someone who is able to see beyond the obvious.
A Daughter’s a Daughter being the first book that I read by the author, I am not yet sure of what I think of her. Also, this is not her regular work; this is one of the 6 books she wrote under the name Mary Westmacott, where she looks at human emotions rather than her regular genre of crime. It is always a challenge to make an opinion about the most celebrated authors. Because you read so much about them even before you read their work.
Hopefully, sometime I would get to read her more and make an opinion.
Sailaja & Vishwa, thanks for giving me this book.
Buy this book – A Daughter’s a Daughter by Mary Westmacott aka Agatha Christie at Amazon India.