The Good Daughters
by Joyce Maynard
Two "birthday" sisters grow up in rural New Hampshire, both of their lives tied to the Plank farm in indelible ways
Genre: Literary Fiction
Review: Dana Dickerson, daughter of a painter mother, secretly longs to work the land someday, and Ruth Plank longs to be a painter. Life on a farm in the harshly beautiful landscape of New Hampshire is evoked. Dana and Ruth grow up beside each other in a sense, yet far apart; both feel out of place in their respective families. The story hurtles toward a conclusion that you know is coming, but still shocks, like a Greek tragedy. Maynard weaves the symbolism of strawberry vines, called daughters, throughout the story. The writing is honest, sensory, and emotionally evocative.