Inspired by true events, in Sofia Grant’s powerfully moving new novel a young woman peels back the layers of her family’s history, discovering a tragedy in the past that explains so much of the present. This unforgettable story is one of hope, healing, and the discovery of truth.
Sometimes the untold stories of the past are the ones we need to hear...
When Katie Garrett gets the unexpected news that she’s received an inheritance from the grandmother she hardly knew, it couldn’t have come at a better time. She flees Boston—and her increasingly estranged husband—and travels to rural Texas.
There, she’s greeted by her distant cousin Scarlett. Friendly, flamboyant, eternally optimistic, Scarlett couldn’t be more different from sensible Katie. And as they begin the task of sorting through their grandmother’s possessions, they discover letters and photographs that uncover the hidden truths about their shared history, and the long-forgotten tragedy of the New London school explosion of 1937 that binds them.
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Sofia Grant has the heart of a homemaker, the curiosity of a cat, and the keen eye of a scout. She works from an urban aerie in Oakland, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Author Sofia Grant's novel The Daisy Children begins with a true event. In 1937, an elementary school in New London, Texas, exploded, killing nearly 300 people, mostly children. Her storyline alternates between the aftermath of that event, and the toll it took on one family, and present day Boston. In Boston, Kate has just lost her job, and she and her husband are having problems conceiving a baby. Kate's husband works crazy hours at his job, and has become more distant. When Kate gets a letter informing her that she has inherited something from her late grandmother Margaret in Texas, she is shocked. She only met the woman once, and her own mother Georgina didn't get along with her mother, seeing her rarely, and often expounding about what a terrible mother Margaret was. Margaret was what was known in New London as a "Daisy Child." After the horrific explosion, eleven babies were born to families who lost children there. The mothers of those children formed a support group, and worked to keep the memories of their deceased children alive. Margaret didn't get along with her mother Caroline almost from the beginning. She was headstrong, and mean to other children, lording it over them that her father was an important oil man, and their fathers merely worked for hers. She fell in love with Hank, the older brother of her best friend, and a survivor of the explosion. Hank suffered from what we today would call PTSD, and he had problems with alcohol and anger issues. Margaret thought her love could help him. Caroline was dead-set against Margaret marrying Hank, and did everything in her power to turn Margaret against Hank. When Margaret had a daughter of her own, Georgina, she got a taste of her own medicine. Georgina clashed with her mother, and counted down the days until she could leave home. Meanwhile, Kate meets her cousin Scarlett in Texas, and learns a little more about her grandmother as they go about cleaning Margaret's house. Margaret is described by a neighbor as "mean as a wasp and tough as a skewed skunk". Secrets are uncovered, including a whopper of a one near the end that I didn't see coming. Young Margaret states early on "if there was one thing (she) had learned in her eleven years on earth, it was that everyone had something they were hiding." Truer words were never spoken. Grant describes the day of the explosion as Caroline tells Margaret what happened. The descriptions of parents rushing in to look for their children brings to mind the horror of the Newtown massacre and 9/11. Caroline's husband found his daughter Ruby's body, and he "identified her by her shoes that he'd helped her buckle that morning." What a heartbreaking sentence. The Daisy Children is about the often painful relationship between mothers and daughters, and how we never really know what is going on in someone's life, even if we are close to them. This book may make you want to sit down with your grandmother, and ask her to talk about her life. You may be surprised. If you enjoy books about mother/daughter relationships, put The Daisy Children on your reading list.
In 1937 in the community of New London, Texas, a school exploded, killing nearly 300 children and teachers. One of the richest districts in the state, the school was located in the ‘oil rich’ area, the first with a lighted football field, and heated, not with a central system, but through individual gas heaters throughout the building. In a cost-cutting measure, the decision was made to ‘tap into’ another source: not illegal, but also not safe. Unfortunately, the worst happened, at the school exploded – killing nearly 300. Parents, grieving and lost often rushed to replace the lost children, and here is where our story begins, several years later as a ‘replacement child’ makes her mark after her death. Mostly a story of Katie, granddaughter of Margaret, a replacement child, as she returns for a reading of Margaret’s will. Nothing in Katie’s trip is smooth, and she’s put into contact (again) with a cousin, Scarlett. The two are COMPLETE opposites: Scarlett seems to have followed the ‘family tradition’ in poor choices, while Katie’s marriage and considered choices are her watchword. But, she’s started to see (when she looks, infrequently) cracks in her own marriage, and this return may be a way to get answers to questions she’s always had. Perhaps Scarlett had them too? Oh the search back through Margaret’s story was intriguing: a replacement child, she was indulged in ways that made a disagreeable and often angry person, unable to translate love onto her own daughter. Uncovering questions, answers and even discovering how similar she and Scarlett are: stubborn, entitled, perhaps a bit angry, the task with this novel is to understand the women and their choices, but I found empathy for their stories, or even caring deeply about them was more of a challenge. It wasn’t the choices, not really, it was the walls and obstructions both built with attitude and anger that held me at a remove. The dual storylines were intriguing, if not wholly engaging to me, and kept me reading. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.