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Other Daughter, The: A Novel [Paperback]

Miralee Ferrell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

December 2008 0825426596 978-0825426599
Susanne Carson's well-ordered family life is thrown into devastating chaos when Brianna, a young teen, appears on her doorstep, claiming to be the daughter of Susanne's husband, David. The revelation of David's apparent betrayal adds strain to an already fragile marriage. Will this shocking discovery drive the family apart, or will it draw them closer to God? Guaranteed fiction!

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4.0 out of 5 stars Finding Faith and Forgiveness Feb. 24 2009
Format:Paperback
Susannah is a regular mom with a husband and two children. On an ordinary afternoon, she is doing laundry, waiting for her kids to get home from school, and looking forward to celebrating her birthday with her husband in the evening. Then the doorbell rings. The young girl standing there by herself claims that she is Susannah's husband's daughter. A daughter that Susannah and her husband knew nothing about.

Susannah's normal life spirals out of control as she learns about David's one-night stand while dating her. They don't need the DNA test to prove that Brianna is his daughter; she resembles him enough that strangers comment on the likeness. Susannah is angry and devastated by David's betrayal and wants nothing to do with Brianna, but Brianna's mom is dead and the girl has nowhere else to go.

With no other choice, Susannah agrees to let Brianna spend the summer with them while they sort things out. Her best friend Jeena tells her she should just leave David for his unfaithfulness and lies. David is bewildered and ashamed of his past, wanting to connect with this daughter he knew nothing about, yet also wanting to restore his relationship with Susannah. Brianna pulls into herself, hurt and insecure, unwilling to share anything of her past or why she's here.

Miralee Ferrell brings personal experience into The Other Daughter, making Susannah's pain gut-wrenchingly real. Throughout the story, Susannah's emotions go up and down as she struggles with everyday life, conflicting advice, and family tragedy. Her own hurt keeps her from seeing Brianna's pain, and she resents the love shown to Brianna by her father-in-law and her daughter. Family remains at the centre of the story, however, and in the end, it is family that pulls Susannah through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Novel Oct. 9 2010
By Louise Jolly TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Susannah is a young mother of two children and wife to David. One day while doing her daily chores before the kids gets home from school, she hears a knock at the door. Upon opening the door she discovers a fourteen year old girl standing there telling Susannah that her mother just died and David is her father!!! Susannah is totally awestruck. She invites the young girl in and waits until David gets home from work.

Through a lot of tears and talk Susannah agrees to let the girl stay for the summer but her best friend wants her to leave David for his obvious unfaithfulness. David is close to God and his church whereas Susannah is not. David must confront his past and his God and Susannah must face her own truths in her marriage all the while with a wee girl standing alone waiting to be part of "some" family.

A beautifully written and inspiring novel to say the least. I'll definitely be looking for more of Miralee Ferrell's novels.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  128 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving story with realistic characters and strong emotion April 8 2008
By Christina Lockstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Other Daughter by Miralee Ferrell starts out with a bomb dropping into Suzanne Carson's world. On the evening of her birthday, a thirteen year old girl shows up on her doorstep claiming to be Suzanne's husband, David's, daughter. While David and Suzanne's two children, especially daughter Megan, accept Brianna without hesitation, as does David's father. But Suzanne is bitterly resentful at David's unfaithfulness and sees it as a sign that his God and religion are illusions. David loves his wife and children dearly, and for fear of hurting them keeps his distance as well from this young, vulnerable girl. It's not often in Christian fiction that in a marriage, the husband is portrayed as the faithful one and the wife as the unbeliever. Suzanne's insistence on relying only on herself separates her not only from God, but from David, Brianna, and even her children. Ferrell's writing is skillful as she portrays Suzanne sympathetically even when she's acting in a way that's not. Because she writes so openly about Suzanne's hurt and pain, it's easy to care about the character and appreciate her growth throughout the story. While the ending may be a little pat (but entirely enjoyable), Ferrell excels at creating a powerful story with realistic characters about the power of trusting in God.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars May 6 2008
By Christie W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Other Daughter is not the type of story that I would typically pick up and read, but the premise intrigued me, so I gave it a go. Susanne and David Carson seem like they have a picture perfect marriage and family. And then a wrench is thrown in the works in the form of a surprise visitor, Brianna, who claims that David is her father. The plot from that point on is predictable. I knew early on what the 'twists' and 'turns' would be. They were easy to see coming, but the reason I kept reading was because the author was able to convey very realistically the evolution of Susanne's character, and her coming to believe and have faith in God.

There were more things in this book that bothered me; little things that should have been ironed out during the editing process (unrealistic sounding and overly simplistic dialogue, redundancies, etc). I am a picky reader so little things like that bother me. Also, the characters were hard to like. Susanne came off as selfish and immature. In a way this was understandable: she views Brianna as a threat, being a physical manifestation of her husband's infidelity, but as a mother and an adult, you would think she would set a better example. There are times that Meaghan acted more mature than her mother. I am hoping that these are simply first book issues and that the author will grow and improve with future publications.

A book has to be stand-out, one that I would re-read, to be rated 5 stars, but the story and the characters stayed with me for days after I had finished the book. The theme of accepting and loving someone for who they are rather than what you want them to be is strong and resonantly conveyed. If you are in the mood for a different sort of Christian fiction, give The Other Daughter a try.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard-hitting and Heartwarming Oct. 18 2007
By Ane Mulligan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
How does a wife deal with the sudden appearance of her husband's daughter that she never knew about? Miralee Ferrell's debut novel lays bare the emotions of broken trust and a marriage unequally yoked--and Ferrell does it with the perceptivity of a seasoned author.

I found Susanne's emotions to be gut-wrenchingly honest and the spiritual thread believable. Too often in Christian fiction, the change in a character is forced. When Susanne seeks affirmation for her hurt from a friend, the advice she gets leaves her unsure. The gradual transition in Susanne is sparked by the faith of her young daughter, Megan, and the understanding of a family friend.

Being a step-mother, I totally related to Susanne's emotions throughout the book. Ferrell hasn't pulled any punches in this hard hitting novel, and it receives this reviewer's highest recommendation.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great book! Dec 10 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Susanne Carson has some problems, but trusting her husband is not one of them. David is a good man, a wonderful father to their two children, and a kind, caring husband. Aside from his involvement in the Christian faith, which Susanne cannot bring herself to embrace, their marriage is mostly good.
Then Brianna shows up on their doorstep, battered suitcase in hand, claiming to be David's daughter. If not for the girl's striking family resemblance, Susanne would refuse to believe the possibility ... but there is that likeness - and a letter from the teen's deceased mother. Then, of course, there's the fact that David admits it is most likely true.
With a strange, unwelcome child in their care and a widening wall between Susanne and David, their home becomes an emotional battlefield of hurt, disillusionment, and shattered trust. Susanne's unwillingness to place her life in God's hands is strengthened by David's deception. Can she ever forgive him? Will she ever be able to love his illegitimate child?
When Brianna's abusive, alcoholic uncle shows up to reclaim the girl, Susanne and David are forced to come to terms with their own feelings and make some hard decisions. Will their love be strong enough to withstand a test of this magnitude?
A marriage in trouble. Two hearts in conflict. A soul at the crossroads.
In The Other Daughter, the author combines all the fascinating elements into a compelling, utterly believable piece of beautifully wrought fiction. It's an unforgettable journey into a mother's heart, a family's love, a couple's faltering relationship. Miralee Ferrell's debut novel is rich with believable characters and poignant situations, and laced with wonderful little details that provide a wonderfully realistic setting. It's a work of heart that will not be easily forgotten.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully touching and very realistic... April 16 2008
By CoffeeGurl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Throughout their marriage, Susanne Carson thought she had the perfect husband. He is always there for her and their two children, is a hard worker and -- she doesn't approve or agree with this area in his life -- is a God-fearing and faithful Christian. David has tried to get Susanne to accept Christ in her heart, to no avail. And it appears that it will never happen, not now that something so shocking and disturbing has occurred. A young girl arrives at their home, claiming to be David's daughter. Her uncle drops her off and drives off before anyone could ask him any questions. It appears that Brianna is the product of a one-night stand David had before he married Susanne. They were not married at the time, but they were already engaged. David had no idea the child existed until now. God has brought a big test in the Carson household. Will this curveball bring them closer together, or tear them apart?

I enjoyed the part in the Bible where David sees Bethsheba bathing and, though she's married, feels he must have her. This sin, though forgiven, has its consequences that cause other grievances throughout David's life in the long run. David Carson experiences something somewhat similar in The Other Daughter and I wonder if Miralee Ferrell had that in mind when she wrote this book. The things Susanne goes through are understandable. The confusion, the pain and sense of betrayal are quite palpable. And how could she be expected to believe in God and accept Christ as her personal savior when she witnesses the past actions of a so-called Christian? This is a wonderful and realistic family drama that everyone -- Christians and non-Christians alike -- should read. Susanne's turnaround is one of the most wonderful scenes I have read in this genre. Ferrell is a great author and I wish her all the luck in the world with this wonderfully touching book. A must read!
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