Suzy’s Approved Book Tours presents another great novel, and today I am reviewing Her Daughter’s Mother by Daniela Petrova, her first novel that published on June 18, 2019.
About the book:
Daniela Petrova’s gripping debut novel, HER DAUGHTER’S MOTHER, is both a twist-filled domestic suspense and an exploration into the emotional and ethical complexities of advanced fertility treatments and motherhood. When a newly pregnant woman crosses the line and befriends her anonymous egg donor, she is surprised by the unlikely friendship they form—and is blindsided when her new friend disappears. As one of the last people to have seen her, she becomes a key suspect in a possible crime. But the truth is even more complicated than she could have imagined.
In her late thirties, Lana has nearly everything she ever wanted, including a plum job at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a long-term, live-in relationship with Tyler, a professor at Columbia. The one missing piece is a child, and after years of trying, Lana and Tyler have made the difficult and expensive decision to use an egg donor. They have chosen a young Bulgarian woman from the donor agency’s catalogue to ensure a meaningful connection to Lana’s own genetic roots. But, three days before the transfer, Tyler announces that he needs a break and moves out of the apartment. Stunned, Lana decides to go through with the embryo transfer without Tyler’s consent. It’s her last chance and she’ll have the baby on her own if she needs to.
Six weeks later, Lana, now pregnant, is startled to look up from her seat on the subway and recognize the beautiful face of her egg donor across the aisle. When she exits the train, Lana follows her, curious to know more about this woman whose genes her baby will inherit. Planning only to observe from a distance, she nonetheless finds herself coming to the young woman’s rescue when she falls on the pavement. When the disarmingly friendly Katya asks Lana to join her for a meal, Lana accepts against her better judgment. They become fast friends, despite the differences in their ages and personalities. Katya, a student at Columbia, is the yin to Lana’s yang, an impulsive risk-taker and free spirit who lives life at the edge. And for pragmatic, cautious Lana, she’s a breath of fresh air and a welcome distraction from her painful breakup with Tyler. Then, just as suddenly as Katya entered Lana’s life, she disappears—and Lana begins to discover truths that could upend much of what she has believed.
Entangled in the ensuing police investigation, Lana is determined to find out what happened to the woman who made motherhood possible for her—even when she becomes a suspect in the disappearance herself. But as she digs into Katya’s past, Lana will unearth shocking secrets that hit close to home—secrets with the power to change everything she thought she knew about those she loves best.
HER DAUGHTER’S MOTHER is told from the point of view of three characters: the pregnant woman, the young egg donor and the father of the baby, each harboring secrets that threaten to unravel their lives and complicate their relationships. Drawing on her own experiences with infertility treatments, which she has written about for Marie Claire, Petrova brings a highly personal perspective to some thought-provoking and timely issues as she crafts a compulsively readable work of domestic suspense. A striking first novel from an accomplished writer, HER DAUGHTER’S MOTHER introduces a vibrant new literary voice.
“[An] impressive debut…a gripping tale of the consequences of obsession. Petrova is off to a promising start.”
“[A] suspenseful, contemporary, and twisty thriller…[with] an engaging and sympathetic protagonist.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“”You’ll get caught up in two first-person narratives…Petrova is expert at showing how desperate both these women are…its darkness and wild resolution will appeal to many readers.”
“Her Daughter’s Mother had me from the very first page. With a dazzling plot; complex, unforgettable characters; and gorgeous prose that mines the dangerous depths of obsession, Daniela Petrova’s debut is undoubtedly going to be the book everyone will want to read this summer.”
— Aimee Molloy, New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Mother
“Her Daughter’s Mother has all the hallmarks of great psychological suspense: a compelling mystery, a cast of intriguing and suspicious characters, and plenty of stunning surprises. But it is the journey of the novel’s protagonists–each trying to find family, connection, and redemption–that makes this page-turner a tender, moving story you won’t soon forget.”
—Megan Collins, author of The Winter Sister
“Taut pacing, relatable characters, and a twisty, surprising plot combine in this tense and poignant thriller. Secrets and obsession leave their mark in this unputdownable story—a remarkable debut.”
—Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls,
The Perfect Stranger, and The Last House Guest
“Captivating and powerful, Her Daughter’s Mother is both a thought-provoking story about the ethical gray area one woman stumbles into on her quest for motherhood, and a twisty thriller about another woman’s abrupt disappearance… that will keep readers guessing right up until the very last page.”
—Kathleen Barber, author of Are You Sleeping
** Named Most Anticipated Book of Summer by CrimeReads
** Named Best Beach Read of the Year by O, The Oprah Magazine
** Named Best Beach Read of 2019 by New York Post
** Named Best New Book to Read in June by HelloGiggles
** Named June Reads for the Rest of Us by Ms. Magazine
** Named Best New Thriller and Mystery in June by CrimeReads
** Named Best New Book This Summer by Popsugar
** Named Best Debut Thriller in June by CrimeReads
This has just been the summer of psychological thrillers. I’m really not sure how these authors keep coming up with all these different ideas, but they do, and they all continue to surprise me.
Her Daughter’s Mother did not fail to deliver as well. Very fast paced and gripping from the beginning I immediately found myself not wanting to put this book down. The shorter chapters kept the novel moving which is good for any thriller reader (as well as anyone with a short attention span like me), and the alternating POV keeps your curiosity moving along as you anticipate what each character is going to continue to say.
The main topic of focus was infertility and motherhood, which generally are not my topics of choice since I am not a mother, but as a nurse and a woman I still have interest in learning and reading about them, so I wasn’t hesitant to pick this one up. And we all know there is nothing better than a hormonal woman to make a good psychological thriller. (I’m allowed to say that since I am part of the team). The author really portrays the desperation that one can feel over the want and need to conceive and to have a child.
The story was beautifully written, had many twists and turns, and was a good read. If I had to categorize it myself I would call it more of an emotional thriller, because even though it has the psychological/suspense aspect, it still held such a large amount of emotional and personal depth to the story that you almost want to put it in the women’s fiction genre as well. Such a well written and captivating book. Daniela Petrova is not new to writing but this is her first novel, I certainly hope it is not her last. I look forward to reading what she does in the future. I give this a solid 4 stars.
I just would like to thank Daniela Petrova, Suzanne Leopold of Suzy Approved Book Tours and #partner @putnambooks for the copy of this book for my unbiased and honest opinion for review.
Buy the Book
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About the Author
Daniela Petrova is a recipient of an Artist Fellowship in Writing from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and a scholarship for the Tin House Summer Workshop. Her short stories, poems and essays have been published in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, and Marie Claire, among many others. Born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, Petrova currently lives in New York City. HER DAUGHTER’S MOTHER is her first novel.
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