Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers

In The Murderer's Daughters, Randy Susan Meyers outlines how a domestic abuse crime affects not only the participants, but how the event causes ripple effects throughout the entire social structure around them.  Lulu is ten and her baby sister, Merry, is five when their father comes to their apartment, fights with their mother and kills her.  While Lulu runs for help, the father tries to kill both Merry and himself, failing at both.

The girl's father is imprisoned, but the girls are also.  Their lives change immediately and for all time with the thrust of that knife.  There are few relatives; elderly grandmothers on both sides and an aunt and uncle.  The grandmothers are not able to care for the girls, and the aunt convinces her husband that they cannot take the girls in.  Lulu and Merry are sent to an orphanage.  It is a bleak and terrifying place.  After several years, they are fostered out and remain with this family until they are grown.

Lulu has survivor's guilt and stuffs her feelings down, down, down until they cannot be uncovered.  She concentrates on becoming the perfect child, making excellent grades and becoming a doctor.  She feels that she must protect everyone, and attempts to control everything in her environment. 

Merry is left with questions about why her father would do such a horrible thing, and why he tried to kill her also.  Far from stuffing her feelings down, she is consumed by them, and moves from man to man, always afraid to commit to anyone or anything.  She doesn't forgive her father, but cannot break the connection and visits him in prison over the years.

Randy Susan Meyers has done an excellent job of describing the aftermath and fallout in families from violence.  She expertly outlines the different relationships the girls have, and how this one event controls how they handle every other event in their lives.  While each copes in a different manner, both are less than whole, always attempting to determine why this happened and what it means.  This book is recommended especially for readers with family tragedies.  It will help them come to terms with what has happened to their families and how to move on from disaster. 


trish said...

This book sounds so great! I love family tragedy stuff, because I think on some level almost all of us can relate. Thanks for being on this tour, Sandie!

StephTheBookworm said...

I've been dying to read this one.

Randy Susan Meyers said...

Dear Sandie,

Your heart shines through in your review of THE MURDERER'S DAUGHTERS. Thank you so much for your caring words.

Warmest regards,