December 8, 2023

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Reviews, Author Interviews, and Discussion Posts by Susan Crosby

Infertility, A Forbidden Connection and the Disappearance that Changed It All: Her Mother’s Daughter by Daniela Petrova- Arc Review out 6/18

I admit it. I am a sucker for the unreliable narrator. So when I come across a book that has not one but three unreliable narrators? I’m all in. And so goes Her Daughter’s Mother, the debut novel by Daniela Petrova.

Thank you to Putnam Books and Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

After years of trying to become pregnant, Lana decides to utilize an egg donor to have a baby. After choosing Katya, she makes the first of a few decisions on both character’s parts, in befriending Katya.
Because we get both points of view of this time period and their pasts, we get insight (albeit not very reliable) of both characters and what brought them here. What makes Lana’s dogmatic belief in motherhood, even after all these obstacles, tick? What drives Katya to a place where she’s willing to donate her eggs to someone she’s never met before?
Somewhat like The Girl on the Train, Katya’s therapist appointments (sans the sexual element) bring a great deal of depth and context to her back story. Similarly as the story unravels, finding out mistakes that Lana has made along the way brings more sympathy to her character. In both circumstances, it makes each character neither black or white. They are both left in a morally grey area which adds to the next layer of intrigue.
Shortly after Lana sees Katya, Katya disappears. Suddenly all suspicion falls on Lana. As misjudgements lead to misconceptions, things continue to unravel. And readers are kept guessing until the very last page. Actually, they are left gripped… To. The. Very. Last. Word.

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