Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Review: Somebody's Daughter

Summary: From USA Today bestselling author Rochelle B. Weinstein comes an emotional novel for mothers, daughters, and anyone who has ever felt imperfect.

Emma and Bobby Ross enjoy a charmed life on the shores of Miami Beach. They are a model family with a successful business, an uncomplicated marriage, and two blessedly typical twin daughters, Zoe and Lily. They are established members of a tight-knit community.

Then, on the night of the girls’ fifteenth birthday party, they learn of Zoe’s heartbreaking mistake—a private and humiliating indiscretion that goes viral and thrusts her and her family into the center of a shocking public scandal.

As the family’s core is shattered by disgrace, judgment, and retribution, the fallout takes its toll. But for Emma, the shame runs deeper. Her daughter’s reckless behavior has stirred memories of her own secrets that could break a marriage and family forever. -- Lake Union

It's ironic that two books with the same title have been published in recent months (or days for one of them!) I have finished SOMEBODY'S DAUGHTER by Rochelle B. Weinstein and am still reading the other, but there must be something special about the title SOMEBODY'S DAUGHTER. I've found both books to be very entertaining... albeit in very different ways.

For now, I'll just focus on Weinstein's SOMEBODY'S DAUGHTER. This book is extremely timely and will resonate with parents (especially mothers) because of the subject matter. The Ross family seemingly has it all. They live on Miami Beach and run a beautiful hotel. The parents, Emma and Bobby, are happily married; and they have two beautiful twin girls, Zoe and Lily. The have a great group of family and friends, and life seems to be about as good as it can get. Until it isn't!

On the evening of the girls' 15th birthday, Bobby and Emma throw the girls a huge party to celebrate. At the end of the evening while Emma is in the restroom, she overhears two girls talking about a viral video with a young girl in a compromising position with a boy. When Emma figures out that the girl is her quiet, introverted daughter Zoe, it tears their family apart!

SOMEBODY'S DAUGHTER follows the events that take place in the Ross family in the aftermath of the scandal, and it's not pretty. Naturally, Zoe is embarrassed and devastated and doesn't quite have the skills at 15 to navigate the controversy alone. However, her twin sister Lily also has to deal with the fallout at school and her desire to protect her sister. Bobby has a very difficult time imaging that his daughter would do this, nevertheless that everyone knows about it; however, he is also dealing with issues of his own and the hotel business. Finally, Emma is sympathetic to her daughter because she heart breaks for Zoe, but she has her own secrets from her past that make her even more understanding of Zoe's behavior. Needless to say, this perfect family suddenly finds themselves in a less-than-perfect situation... and it seems like everyone in their circle of friends knows about it!

I enjoyed SOMEBODY'S DAUGHTER, but maybe it's better to say that I appreciated it. The subject matter tore me apart. I mean who doesn't make mistakes when they are 15, and because of the internet, Zoe's mistake will always be out there. This book delved into so many topics that I think mothers will relate to -- from how to parent in difficult situations to how to act when your husband is shutting you out; and most importantly, how to keep your family from falling apart.

This is the first novel I've read by Ms. Weinstein, and I definitely wouldn't hesitate to read another one. I felt as if she truly captured the pain of his family, while also covering relevant issues in today's society. Her portrayals of all four family members, as well as their friends, seemed very realistic to me; and I especially enjoyed how she developed the secondary characters including the boy's parents and Zoe's friends.

The entire time I was reading SOMEBODY'S DAUGHTER, I thought it would make the ideal book club selection. I wasn't able to find a formal reading guide, but rest assured, you won't need one. My book club has spoken about many of these issues over the past few years, and this novel brings them to to forefront in a variety of ways. Some of the themes you will want to discuss include cyber bullying, actions and repercussions, mother/daughter relationships, marriage, sibling love/rivalry, guilt, forgiveness, and second chances. It truly is an important and thought-provoking story.

I think fans of women's fiction will very much enjoy SOMEBODY'S DAUGHTER. I highly recommend it to book clubs and moms!

Thanks to Get Red PR for providing a review copy of this novel.


bermudaonion said...

I'm so glad my son was grown before smart phones were out. This book sounds true to life and gut wrenching.

Mystica said...

Thank you for this review.