Book Review :: The Favorite Daughter

Just in time for packing your summer beach bag, Patti Callahan Henry is providing The Favorite Daughter to help you stock it. Set mostly in a small coastal South Carolina town, Henry’s latest story explores loss and betrayal, family history and its secrets.

Lena Donohue has been in New York for ten years when her brother calls to say the family needs her help. She’s been largely absentee since a significant betrayal sent her running – away from the family and away from her hometown. Now, her father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and figuring out how to cope will require the help of all three of his children.

As Lena and her two siblings start to pull together milestones from her father’s past in order to help him hang on to it longer, the pieces don’t all quite fit, leading the three siblings to question the family lore they’ve believed to be true. And as the real family history emerges, Lena, in particular, gets some answers (as well as new questions) she didn’t know she needed.

While this should be a post about Henry’s book, I need to stop and rave for just a minute about the author herself. I had the privilege of meeting Patti about ten years ago when she spoke at my mom’s Literary Club. In person, she’s completely down to earth and simply lovely. If you ever have the chance to see her (she frequents the annual Decatur Book Festival!) do it. If you don’t, follow her on all the socials. She is one of those gracious authors who engages with her readers.

(Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.)

If your summer TBR is already full, then you might want to add The Favorite Daughter to your audiobook lineup. Henry announced in April that fellow-author Joshilyn Jackson would be narrating the audio version. If you’ve never listened to one of her books, you’re missing out. I’ve written here before that Jackson is one the few authors that I enjoy so much on audio, it’s my preferred experience with her writing. Bottom line – it is a treat to have these two authors teaming up.

The Favorite Daughter is a perfect summer read with enough heartache, strife and family drama balanced by redemption, retribution and resolution to be a quite satisfying read. Lather on the SPF or pop a wide umbrella because you won’t want to leave your chair when you get going with The Favorite Daughter.


I was provided an advanced readers copy of The Favorite Daughter by Penguin Random House’s First to Read program in exchange for an honest review. The Favorite Daughter will be available to all readers on June 4, 2019. 


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