For My Daughters

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Overview

Caroline, Annette and Leah St. Clair have spent their lives trying to escape the legacy of their wealthy, social-climbing mother, Virginia, a woman who had little time — and even less feeling — for her daughters. Though the sisters now consider themselves happy, each has lost a certain part of herself. Then, on the eve of her seventieth birthday, Virginia asks her daughters to help her get settled into her magnificient new estate on the peaceful, rocky coast of Maine. Though their first reaction is to turn her ...
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Overview

Caroline, Annette and Leah St. Clair have spent their lives trying to escape the legacy of their wealthy, social-climbing mother, Virginia, a woman who had little time — and even less feeling — for her daughters. Though the sisters now consider themselves happy, each has lost a certain part of herself. Then, on the eve of her seventieth birthday, Virginia asks her daughters to help her get settled into her magnificient new estate on the peaceful, rocky coast of Maine. Though their first reaction is to turn her down, each of the sisters ultimately decides to go...to give Virginia what she asks for, perhaps for the last. But it is Virginia who gives to her daughters. For amid the glorious beauty of a New England summer, the sisters find answers to question that have troubled them fo years, insights into the men in their lives, and new truths that will stay with them forever. For My Daughter is an eloquent and heartfelt protrait rich with passion, joy fulfillment, and, most of all, love, as four women discover not only one another, but themselves as well.

In her emotional and spellbinding new novel, the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly interweaves the stories of four women seeking peace among each other. On the eve of her 70th birhtday, Virginia St. Clair sends letters to her three estranged daughters, asking them to help her move into her new Maine estate.

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Editorial Reviews

Melanie Duncan
When Virginia St. Clair was a young married woman, she fell in love with the gardener of her vacation house in Maine. At the end of the summer, she chose duty to her husband over love and emotionally estranged herself from everyone who entered her life. Her three daughters, born after that summer, suffered the most. Now, at 70, Virginia decides to correct her mistakes. She purchases her former vacation home in Maine and invites her daughters to join her there. Caroline leaves her law practice, Annette's family encourage her to make the trip, and Leah abandons the Washington social scene. When the three women arrive, they find out Virginia will be a few days late, and they must face their problems with each other and with their personal lives. The revelation of their emotionless mother's passionate past rocks the foundations of the sisters' beliefs about their family and enables them to heal the emotional scars of childhood and face the future with the men they love.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061092800
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/1995
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Delinsky

Barbara Delinsky, a lifelong New Englander, was a sociologist and photographer before she began to write. There are more than 30 million copies of her books in print.

Biography

Born Ruth Greenberg, and raised in suburban Boston, Barbara Delinsky worked as a sociology researcher in children's services and was a newspaper photographer and reporter before turning to fiction writing full-time. In point of fact, she never intended to pursue a literary career. But, in the early 1980s, a newspaper article profiling three women who successfully balanced home, family, and romance writing caught her attention. Intrigued, she spent months researching and writing her first novel. It sold -- and Delinsky was off and running.

Praised by critics and fans alike for her character driven studies of marriage, parenthood, and friendship, Delinsky is one of a small cadre of successful women writers (including Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown) who started out writing pseudonymous paperbacks for the category romance genre and muscled their way onto the bestseller lists with hardcover escapist fiction. Yet she is candid about the hard work involved and insists there's no tried-and-true formula that converts automatically to easy money. As if to prove her own point, Delinsky works from eight in the morning to about seven at night, writing in the office above the garage in her Newton, Massachusetts home; doing research; handling interviews; or -- her least favorite part of the job -- touring the country making author appearances.

Over the decades Delinsky has written dozens of novels that have landed on The New York Times bestseller list, including Twilight Whispers (1988), For My Daughters (1994), Three Wishes (1997), Flirting with Pete (2003), and Family Tree (2007). In 2001, she published her first nonfiction title, Uplift: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors. A cancer survivor herself, she has earmarked all the profits from the sale of this book to benefit breast cancer research.

Good To Know

When she isn't writing, one of Delinsky's favorite pastimes is kayaking.

She gets some of her best ideas in the shower. "It's a little harder to write ideas down there," she wrote to fans on her web site, "but I've been known to yell something out to my husband, who does it for me!"

The family cat, Chelsea, is named after her 1992 novel The Passions of Chelsea Kane.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Billie Douglass, Bonnie Drake; born Ruth Greenberg
    2. Hometown:
      Newton, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 9, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Boston, Massachusetts
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Psychology, Tufts University, 1967; M.A. in Sociology, Boston College, 1969

Read an Excerpt

For My Daughters


By Barbara Delinsky

Avon Books

Copyright © 2008 Barbara Delinsky
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061374555

Chapter One

The News Wasn't Good. Caroline St. Clair read the verdict on the jurors' faces well before it was passed to the judge. None of the twelve could look at her. Her client had been found guilty.

The rational part of her knew it was for the best. The man had kidnapped his ex-wife, held her hostage for three days, and repeatedly raped her. A respected state legislator with an otherwise spotless record, he would serve his term in the relative comfort of a federal prison, receive the psychiatric help he needed, and be paroled while he was still young enough to start again. In some regards an acquittal, which would have tossed him to the media and others bent on exploitation at a time when he was as bruised as his ex-wife, would have been more cruel.

But for Caroline each win was crucial. Wins generated renown, renown generated new cases, and new cases fattened the bottom line that was the obsession of the predominantly male partnership of Holten, Wills, and Duluth. Like so many of its kind, it had spent the better part of two decades in overextension, but while other firms folded, Holten, Wills, and Duluth clung to solvency. The cost was a fixation on cutting dead weight, limiting perks, and streamlining operations -- and apreoccupation with accounts receivable.

Caroline was one of the newer and, even at forty, younger partners. The future of the firm rested on her shoulders, lectured her older colleagues in the same breath that they grilled her on her billable hours. They didn't like sharing the wealth. Worse, they didn't like women. Caroline had to work twice as hard and be twice as good for the same recognition. She had to be more clever in the manipulation of legal theory, more aggressive negotiating with prosecutors, more effective with juries.

She had badly, badly needed this win.

"Tough break," said one of her fellow junior partners from the door of her office. "The press opportunities would have been good, what with your man's political connections. Now you get exposure for a loss."

Caroline shot him a look that might have been more stern had he been anyone else. But she and Doug had joined the firm at the same time, both lateral appointees, and though he had been named partner two years before her, she hadn't held it against him. She couldn't afford to. He was her strongest ally in the firm.

"Thanks," she drawled. "I needed that."

"Sorry. But it is true."

"And you think that that thought didn't keep me awake for more than a minute or two last night?" she asked, tapping the desktop with her forefinger, then her pinkie. "I knew the potential for this case when I took it. I thought we had a shot at winning."

"Proving insanity is tough."

"But aside from this one aberration John Baretta has lived an exemplary life," she argued, as she had more eloquently and in greater depth to the jury. "I thought that would count for something."

"Then you do believe he was temporarily insane?"

Caroline had had to believe it. That was the only way she could present an effective defense. With the trial behind her now, though, what would have been, "Definitely!" became, "Arguably." Her fingers kept up their alternating beat. "The man was crazy about his wife. He couldn't accept it when she left him. But he has no history of violence. He's ashamed and apologetic. He isn't a danger to society. He needs therapy. That's all."

"And you need a cigarette."

She stilled her hand. "You bet, but I won't have one. I'm not going through withdrawal again, and I'm not doing anything that'll make me sick. Just think of what the firm would do to me then." She sputtered out a breath. "My friends don't understand. They think that making partner guarantees something, like if I were to become pregnant tomorrow the firm would throw me a shower. They'd throw me out, is what they'd do. They'd find a way to get around the issue of discrimination and toss me out on my tail." She sighed, feeling suddenly tired. "It's so fragile, this thing we call a partnership, this thing we call a career. Is it worth it in the end?"

"Beats me. But what else can we do?"

"I don't know. But something's wrong, Doug. I'm feeling worse for myself for losing a case than I do for my client, and he's the one who'll be doing the time. My values have gotten messed up. All of ours have."

The words had barely left her mouth when a second face appeared at the door. This one belonged to one of the senior partners. "You allowed too many women on the jury," was his assessment. "They sided with the victim."

Doug slipped away just as Caroline said, "Gender isn't grounds for exclusion."

"You should have found a way to get them off," he answered and continued on down the hall.

She had barely begun to think up a response when another partner appeared. "You shouldn't have let him take the stand. He was looking piteous up to that point. Once he started talking, he sounded slick."

"I thought he sounded sincere."

"The jury didn't," came the chiding reply.

"We can all be brilliant tacticians after the fact," Caroline reasoned, "but the truth is that none of us knows why the jury reached the decision it did."

She was brooding about that moments later when yet another partner stopped by with as much encouragement as she would get. "Put this behind you, Caroline. You need a victory. Take a look at your caseload, pick a good one, and clobber the sucker."



Continues...

Excerpted from For My Daughters by Barbara Delinsky Copyright © 2008 by Barbara Delinsky. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2005

    Terrific Book!

    I loved this story. A real love story in so many ways. Ms. Delinsky developed the characters so you felt like you knew them. I would love to see this book made into a movie. I enjoyed every moment of it. I hated to see it come to an end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    Loved this book!

    One of my favorite books from author. I can just read this story all day long. I can visulize the girls, plot, etc. Love the setting ---Maine . Love love love!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2011

    Great Read

    This is my first time reading one of Barbara Delinsky's books and I'm very impressed. I like everything about the story but wish that the author would give the daughters some time to spend with their mother to make up for the lost times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2007

    ONE OF HER BEST!

    I have read numerous books by Barbara Delinsky (she is my favorite author) with Commitments being my favorite, but I will say For My Daughters is now tied for that top spot! What a wonderful story. So very believable (actually more so than Commitments was) and definitely heartwarming. That Leah ends up being the main character in this story was a surprise, but it all weaves together to form a perfect tale of women coming into their own and coming together as a family.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2001

    Enjoyable book - I love Barbara Delinsky's work - but the ending was to abrupt

    I enjoyed Barbara Delinsky's 'For my daughters' book. I just think that the ending came about to quickly and the story could have been a little more balanced. This is my 3rd book I have read of Barbara Delinsky's and I have to say that I have enjoyed them all. It was a good book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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