Other Daughter, The: A Novel Paperback – Dec 1 2008
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From the Back Cover
The girl standing at the door took a deep breath, pulling her suitcase a little closer to her trembling legs. "My mama's dead. He's my daddy."
Susanne Carson knows that she can trust the love of her life--her husband, David--until she discovers a strange, unkempt young girl on their doorstep, claiming to be David's daughter.
Not that their marriage has ever been perfect--David's decision to embrace the Christian faith has strained their relationship. Susanne may not agree with his beliefs, but at least she trusts him. Has David been hiding this not-so-little secret from his past? He wants Susanne to believe in God, but believing hasn't done much to keep David out of another woman's arms. What else could her husband be hiding?
As David confronts the truth of his past, Susanne must face her own moment of truth as her marriage is taken to the breaking point and the life of one young girl is left in her hands.
Miralee Ferrell and her husband, Allen, live in a rural community in Washington State. She serves on staff as a licensed minister at their local church and is actively involved in ministry to women. Miralee developed an interest in writing in high school and took honors English courses in college, but put writing on the back burner for the next thirty years while raising a family and helping her husband in their growing business. Two and a half years ago, she returned to the pen, publishing a number of short stories and The Other Daughter. Currently, she is working on the next book in this series.
About the Author
Miralee Ferrell and her husband, Allen, live on eleven acres in Washington State. Miralee loves interacting with people, ministering at her church, (she is a certified Lay Counselor with the AACC), riding her horse, and playing with her dogs. An award-winning and bestselling author, she speaks at various women s functions and has taught at writers conferences. Since 2007, she s hadseventeen books release, both in women s contemporary fiction and historical romance. Miralee recently started a newsletter, and you can sign up for it on her website/blog www.miraleeferrell.com.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
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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