Title: Yes, My Darling Daughter
Author: Margaret Leroy
Release Date: March 2, 2010
Genre: Gothic Mystery
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5
Grace has always had problems with her four-year-old daughter, Sylvie, starting with the fact that the child insists on calling her mother by her first name. Sylvie has always seemed older and wiser than her years, but is also irrationally afraid of water. Her tantrums and screaming fits prompt Grace to desperately seek out some rationale behind Sylvie’s behavior, and lead her to past life specialist Adam Winters.
Yes, My Darling Daughter is a gothic mystery with a deliciously spooky atmosphere. From the beginning, it’s clear that something isn’t quite right with Sylvie. She’s definitely spooky, and sometimes readers have to remind themselves that she’s just a harmless child. Leroy does an incredible job writing a thick, close atmosphere for this book; it’s always just below the surface, so the reader feels chills even when Grace is doing the most ordinary of thing, such as working at the flower shop. If you’re a fan of gothics, like I am, you’ll find the feeling of this novel incredibly creepy, yet satisfying.
Grace is a well developed main character that readers will really feel for. She’s clearly struggling to get by, to provide for Sylvie, and it’s also apparent that her daughter is everything to Grace. As a result, it hurts Grace (and the reader) that much more when Sylvie rejects her and talks about “her real family”. I couldn’t blame Grace for losing her temper with Sylvie; the child was completely out of control and incredibly frustrating. That’s not to say that Sylvie was a brat at all, which is why Grace is at the end of her rope. She doesn’t know how to handle Grace or to find her help.
The past life part of Yes, My Darling Daughter is interesting. It takes Grace some time to arrive at this last resort, but once she does, pieces begin falling into place almost a little too conveniently. The mystery is also pretty straightforward once the information is presented; there aren’t a lot of plot twists or turns, and it’s easy for the reader to guess where the book is going to end up.
Yes, My Darling Daughter is a great pick for anyone who loves gothic mysteries and a wonderfully written atmospheric read, While the mystery leaves something to be desired, the relationship between Grace and Sylvie is dear, and readers will really want to visit the intricately detailed seaside towns Leroy describes.