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The Murderer's Daughters
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The Murderer's Daughters

3.9 181
by Randy Susan Meyers

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Lulu and Merry's childhood was never ideal, but on the day before Lulu's tenth birthday their father drives them into a nightmare. He's always hungered for the love of the girls' self-obsessed mother; after she throws him out, their troubles turn deadly.

Lulu had been warned to never to let her father in, but when he shows up drunk, he's impossible to ignore. He

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The Murderer's Daughters 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 181 reviews.
GinnyD More than 1 year ago
This is a can't-put-down, stay-up-all-night, please-don't-talk-to-me book. I fell in love with Lulu and Merry as little girls and continued to love them as they grew to complicated women. In the opening pages they faced the nightmare their father created and I needed to know immediately what happened to them. As they grew and their dilemma's multiplied, I became totally invested in their decisions and their outcomes. The writing is so good that scenes and images from this book stayed with me long after I finished. We often hear of the trauma involving adults in domestic violence and rarely hear about what happens to the children. This is a very important novel, gripping and haunting, forcing us to confront the parental legacy of both violence and enduring love. This novel compels us to remember that nothing between parents and children is simple and that we all leave complex and often unintended legacies. This book is a must read.
mraugustwestie More than 1 year ago
A shame and a disagrace or as the author writes in Yiddish, "shandah and a charpeh." What a book! From the very first chapter, when Lulu (Louise) and Merry (Merideth) are unwilling witnesses and participants in their father's murder of their mother, I was drawn into their lives and their tragic vulnerabilty. Thrust into an orphange after their mother's death and their father's incarceration, Lulu and Merry are victims of the cruel system and their abandonment by the remaining family. They are shamed as the murderer's daugthers, no one wants them. The mother's aunt uses the excuse that these girls are part of their father who struck down her beloved sister. As the reader, who read most of this book sitting on the runway during the recent Midwest blizzard, I was caught up with the fact that this family was Jewish. I am sure there are Jewish families who commit crimes and do not give a home to the orphaned children, but this twist made the story more interesting and heart breaking. No one could take these poor girls? This was the shame and the disgrace! Lulu, a tenacious bright girl, protected her pretty sister who was consumed with guilt and no direction. Merry visited her father in prison (Lulu did not) to seek his approval, to maintain a connection, to find answers, but she was used by her father, too. He played a part; he would keep up his "Hi Sugar Pop, Cocoa Puff" sweet talk to gain some allegiance from his daughter, and it worked with Merry. The regulations, the other visitors, the physical building of the prison would forever make Merry an "expert" prison visitor. At an important educational point in their life, Lulu and Merry were fostered to a rather wealthy Jewish family who saw to their education but really could not give them they love they needed and deserved. Meyers writes with profound understanding of how foster children will do anything to please a foster parent to avoid being sent back to an orphanage which is probably worse than their father's prison. I learned about the "system" as I did in White Oleander, but I felt this was a stronger book because the two sisters knew they only had each other and avoided the revelation of the murder scene in order to function in this world. Consumed with guilt, Lulu becomes an excellent physician and Merry is fraught with impossible relationships but works hard all the time to maintain the relationship with her sister. Lulu's anger shows in a myriad of incidents and Merry's sadness blankets the novel. I loved this book. There is much to be learned. No one was glorified, even the dead Mother, reality of their family, the orphanage, the grandmothers made this a more haunting, plausible book. I know this was a debut novel, but it is the best that I have read in a long time.
poosie More than 1 year ago
This is a story that will keep your nose in the book, make you think, wonder and break your heart. The author writes of the irreparable damage of two sister's lives after their father murders their mother. While many books have been written about domestic violence and the tragic aftermath, few have addressed what the children of domestic violence experience. This powerful story brings the reader up close to the pain, the sadness and the guilt. The girls'resilience as they make their way through what's left of their lives, feeling unwanted, abandoned, desperate for belonging, for someone to love them and give them some semblance of normalcy. Much of the story is painful to read and just tears your heart out. When your father murders your mother and tries to murder your sister and tries to commit suicide, do you try to have a relationship with him?This book will stay with you, the strength, hope and will, long after you finish the last page. This is a riveting story, full of complex characters that you really care about.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In a rage their drunken father kills their mother and almost kills one of his daughters Merry. The child and her sister Lulu are sent to an orphanage. Lulu plays the system while the system plays Merry, but stay together as they forge a symbiotic relationship. Lulu becomes a doctor, but hides her nightmarish childhood from everyone. Merry becomes a victim abdicate though she is totally dependent on Lulu and drugs. Merry visits her father while Lulu behaves as if he committed suicide on that fatal day three decades ago. Now he is being freed from prison; something neither of his children support as they fear the shadows he left them with when he committed the atrocity. Rotating first person perspectives between the sisters, fans get a deep look at how a tragedy when they were children impacts them as adults. Ironically though Lulu and Merry seem like opposites as the audience observes and "listen" to both over the next three decades, they sound so identical that a reader would struggle to delineate who is relating their lives at a particular moment. This adds to the overall impact of a psychological thriller as beneath the public mask each never truly moved past the pivotal horrific incident. The Murderer's Daughter is a profound look at the survivors coping throughout their respective lifetimes when a family member commits an atrocity; exponentially devastating when the trauma is also against another family member.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"The Murder's Daughters" is heartbreaking. The girls witness their mother being murdered at a very young age. The novel tells about the misfortunate events that follow the trauma they endured and how it affects their entire lives. The author does a magnificent job portraying the characters. This story is so believable, that there are moments when you will question "is this really fiction?". This book had me captivated from the very first sentence.
izzybell13 More than 1 year ago
The Murderer's Daughters engaged me from the get go. I could not put this book down. The storyline, the characters and their emotions all make for a great novel. It is a story of survival and the impact of domestic violence on the silent sufferers, the children. I highly recommend this debut novel by Randy Susan Meyers and cannot wait for her next book!
LindaPercy More than 1 year ago
Two sisters, Lulu and Merry deal with the aftermath of domestic violence in all its complexity. When your father murders your mother do you try to maintain a relationship with him? When your father murders your mother and tries to murder your little sister and commit suicide does he cease to exist for you? What is like to grow up being known as "the murderer's daughters?" How do you take care of each other when no one else wants you? In the Murderer's Daughters, Randy Susan Meyers opens windows as you watch Lulu and Merry, who were 10 and 5 when they entered this nightmare, spend the next 30 years answering these very questions. They take very divergent paths; Lulu declaring herself an orphan and Merry trying to maintain a relationship with her father and trying to understand that relationship. Meyer takes us on a 30-year journey following Lulu and Merry as they move from relatives who don't want them, a home for girls, and a foster home into adulthood where ultimately they face one of their greatest challenges: their father's release from prison. The Murderer's Daughters is what all great books should be; riveting, full of complex characters you really care about, excellent writing, snappy dialog, and leaves you asking yourself, "what if, what if... This is definitely one book not to be missed, and will leave you looking forward to Meyer's next book.
Cecile-JP More than 1 year ago
Murderer's Daughters is a wonderful story of two sisters struggling to survive their father's history of violence. Randy Myers is not only great at staging the dramatic events, but also at portraying how Merry and Lulu both cope with the family's past according to their specific personalities. One of Myers' gifts as a writer is to create complex characters that span human experience, thus making the reader relate to them on a deep level. Those, specifically, who have gone through difficult family times will be moved by this tale. But I don't want to make this novel sound like a still character study, quite the contrary. Myers is also a terrific storyteller, and the Murderer's Daughters is a dynamic and interesting story, filled with satisfying plot twists
susanjoyce More than 1 year ago
I read this in one sitting after getting an early copy. Despite the heart breaking topic--two sisters surviving witnessing their father kill their mother--the pages flew by. Watching them grow up, from little girls to adults, I was mesmerized by the different ways they reacted to the tragedy. And yet they were so close, they could barely stand living apart! Amazingly, the book was also funny and wry at times. I recommend this book 100%. I loved these characters.
KMcBride More than 1 year ago
I read mostly murder mysteries, but something compelled me to try this book and I was not disappointed. The plot is so enthralling and the characters are so complex yet so endearing that I felt as if I knew them personally. I wanted to reach into the book and take care of them. I also recommend Chevy Stephens as an author that writes books on this emotional level. This book is destined for greatness. Don't let it pass you by!!!
SparklyLady More than 1 year ago
What I loved most about this book was the relationship between the two sisters, Lulu and Merry. A shared tragedy sometimes has a way of bringing out the deeper soul in people, even in children, as this novel well illustrates. The sudden disappearance of both their parents - when their mother is horribly murdered - leaves one child precariously afloat in a sort of eternal childhood while the other is charged with the Sisyphean task of trying to grow herself into the eternally large shoes of abandoned parenthood. Heartbreaking, I thought: those intimate scenes from the early part of the book in which the girls manage to create something invisible and yet solid that endures through the challenges they encounter later in the novel: the true "family" that exists between them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fabulous book. Bought it on a whim when looking for something to read. This was a complete page turner! Going to put this author on my favorite list!
mineymole More than 1 year ago
From the opening paragraph I was hooked. I read it straight through in one night. It was the most compelling read of the year for me. The characters are so real, so rich, so detailed and nuanced. The story is both horrifying, moving, and full of hope. Mary and Lulu, the two daughters, are an inspiration. I have recommended this book to everyone I know. Amazing amazing read.
Slessman More than 1 year ago
THE MURDERER'S DAUGHTERS Randy Susan Meyers St. Martin's Press ISBN: 978-0-312-57698-1 $24.99 Hardcover 307 pages Reviewer: Annie Slessman Young children when their father murdered their mother, Lulu and Merry Zachariah, main characters of Randy Susan Meyers debut novel, THE MURDERER'S DAUGHTERS, the girls survive only because they take care of one another. The oldest, Lulu is not as pretty as Merry, but certainly makes up for it with her intelligence. She manages to get them into a decent home with the Cohen's after enduring their aunt's rejection and being sent to a girl's home. At the girl's home, both girls are tagged as the daughters of a murderer and the other girls at the home make their lives miserable. The only family member who seems to care anything about the girls is their father's mother. She is old and cannot take on the care of the girls but stays in touch with the girls and tries her best to provide some guidance for them. Merry and her grandmother regularly Merry's father in prison but Lulu is determined never to see him again. Lulu witnessed the murder of her mother and the attempted murder of Merry, who was stabbed by her father in the chest. Forgiveness is not something she intends to waste on her father. When the Cohen's provide a foster home for the girls it is due to Mrs. Cohen's need to mother the girls. However, she is never able to treat them like her own children and the girls are constantly forced to be "good little girls" for fear they will be rejected by the Cohen's as well. As they grow up, it is Lulu who provides Merry with the stability in her life. When Lulu becomes a doctor, marries the "man of her dreams", they provide an apartment in their home for Merry. She lives there even after Lulu gives birth to two girls. Fiercely loyal to one another, the girls stick together through the good and the bad in each others lives. This book is a study of child abuse, the intricacies of family relationships, tragedy and a study of the inner strength each and everyone has within themselves. It is good reading and will appeal to people of all walks of life. It will be especially interesting to people who have experienced tragedy in their lives and have managed to come out on the other side a stronger and more stable individual.
BostonWriter More than 1 year ago
I was fortunate to get my hands on an early copy of The Murderer's Daughters, and I nearly wish I hadn't, because I wish I had other readers to discuss it with when I finished. Three Big Think questions formed the crux of this book for me: 1) When children witnesses something no child should have to, how do they continue to live their lives overcoming the searing images, memories, and lasting significance to self esteem; 2) how does that affect their sibling relationship, banded together in relation to an outside world which cannot possibly understand; and 3) is every parental sin potentially forgiveable, in the deepest recesses of a child's heart, because they so want to be loved? Fascinating questions the book examines so poignantly. Domestic violence is not an easy subject to read, but this work does not belabor the awfulness. However it does unflinchingly address what needs to be seen and addressed. The author's experience in the field informs this novel on every level and makes it psychologically real, but it's her wisdom and heart that make you care about the characters. I found myself wondering about what became of their lives after the point the book leaves them. That, to me, is the sign of a potent book.
saratoga99 More than 1 year ago
A most provocative title, The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers, tenders a vivid narrative of two young girls trapped in the vicious cycle of domestic violence. In an unusual twist, the emotionally grueling scene of a selfish, immoral shell of a father cajoles his older daughter Lulu into unlocking the door to the apartment he is banned from entering, and then proceeds to murder his wife, cruelly injure his younger daughter Merry, and in a pathetic attempt to kill himself. The prequel to this horrific scene acutely describes its harbinger, the incessant levels of highs and lows that personify domestic violence and how it affects its victims, especially two young girls. Without parental care, with a heinous father in prison, Lulu and Merry become wards of a girls' home that accommodates a diverse population of girls whose only desire is to be noticed and rewarded for the unrelenting pain of living in an institution that only satisfies their basic needs. Randy Susan Meyers writes with a powerful and deeply emotional voice about a painfully ubiquitous subject that rarely receives the consideration it deserves, that of the collateral damage of domestic violence, the children. We follow the lives of Lulu and Merry through those early painfully disturbing years of yearning, not only for a conventional family life, but also for the overwhelming desire for acceptance as typical children, rather than the children of a murderer. Though ferociously protected by Lulu in childhood, vigorous attempts to dissuade Merry from contact with their father fail. Merry is adamant and with her fraternal grandmother, visits her father in prison on a consistent basis. Lulu refuses to participate in what she considers a bizarre ritual, and rejects his specious enticements to see him. Without perceptible discernment, Lulu suppresses her powerlessness to fully understand, accept, or forgive her father's actions. Extremely driven and highly intelligent, she immerses herself in medical school, and as a well-respected doctor proceeds to follow the Hippocratic Oath on her own terms by selectively choosing which women patients she will accept. Merry exhibits the characteristic manifestations of a physically and mentally abused childhood. Frequent meaningless sexual encounters usually fueled by excessive drinking, and an intermittent relationship with a married man, Merry's reckless façade is inconsistent with her chosen profession as a parole officer. Subconsciously, she seeks to heal her ex-convicts' shattered psyches in order to save them through motivational counseling and assiduous encouragement. A watershed event occurs which alters Lulu's and Merry's increasingly fragile relationship, and provides a powerful catalyst to liberate two young girls tethered to the past by shame and guilt which haunted them to this moment in their lives.
cansail More than 1 year ago
A book with the word "murderer" in the title would, you'd think, be dark, violent and depressing. Not this one. Yes a murder takes place in the very first chapter, but the real story is about how two very different sisters get on with their lives. It made me grateful for my happy childhood, but also grateful to have shared the lives of two such lively characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HogwartsLUVR More than 1 year ago
Great book! I would recommend to everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book pulls you in immediately and keeps you emotionally engaged. Did not want to put the book down...left me thinking about the characters while I was away from the book. Left me yearning to help children victimized by crimes.
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
This was what I would call realistic fiction. I don't remember why I initially made the decision to read it, but it must have been recommended to me on a reading list at some point. And I am glad I read it. The story is sad--and it ends rather sadly. Again, while realistic, it does not resolve like I would like it to. I sometimes have a love-hate relationship with realistic fiction. And this is probably one of those instances. I found myself going to bed each night thanking God for the wonderful family I have and everything for which I have to be thankful. I am a teacher, and I have taught students in the past who have gone through situations like the book describes. I had never considered how a family murder can continue to affect children throughout their lives. In the end, I would have liked the two sisters to have truly resolved their issues, but then again, I guess it is pretty common that people don't. I loved that the author acknowledged at the end that she had worked with people for ten years in the situations described in this book. The characters at times seemed 2-dimensional, and I got tired of the foul language and the more intimate sex scenes. I probably enjoyed the first part of the book better than the other two. Although the author throws us a curve or two in Parts 2 and 3 that are worth reading. All things considered, I liked the book more than I disliked it. Thus, my 3-star rating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully written sad tale of two girls.