Book Club: Daughter of Mine

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Author: Fiona Lowe
ISBN: 9781489220349
RRP: $29.99

Fiona Lowe is a prolific Australian author who is published across different genres, platforms and publishers and the winner of some prestigious awards. It turns out that I have not read any of her books, until now.

Daughter of Mine is a fabulous fiction novel of family, and everything that goes along with it. The story encompasses generations of the same prestigious family in the small Victorian town of Billawarre.

The Chirnwell sisters are very different but they have always been close, they share very different bonds with their mother though all of them are strained. The book explores many family relationships but the main focus is on the mother/daughter relationships and the bonds between sisters.

Harriet, the eldest, is a respected surgeon with a successful husband who loves her and a teenaged daughter she holds high hopes for. She has the huge house, the designer wardrobe, the Mannering sense of duty and fear of scandal.

Xara is a happily married mother of three living on a sheep farm. Her life is far from the prestige of her older sister and her standards of perfection are much lower. Xara and Harriet are close but they are very different and often don’t see eye to eye. Harriet can’t understand why Xara went on to have more children after her daughter was born with cerebral palsy and needs so much special care.

Georgie is the baby of the family and the only one to have left her small hometown to teach in Melbourne. She is in regular contact with her mother and her sisters but the distance between them is more than just physical. She has always keenly felt her place as the youngest, her relationship with her parents was different and she never felt like her opinions mattered with her sisters.

The major catalyst for the story centres on the birthday party the girls throw for their mother’s 65th birthday. Harriet wants to throw her a surprise party like her late father used to do, the Chirnwells have always been well known for throwing amazing parties. Edwina Chirnwell throws a lifelong habit of avoiding scandal out the window when she arrives at her party with a man on her arm; and it’s her daughters who are the most scandalised.

Edwina isn’t the centre of attention for long though, during the course of the party criminal accusations are leveled at the mayor and that becomes the big news in town.

The Chirnwell women are faced with some major issues and the way they deal with them, and the way it affects their relationships with each other is both realistic and thought-provoking.

The expectations we have of ourselves and those around us are a big part of Daughter of Mine, we see how the relationships of our childhood affect the bonds we form into adulthood. Children see and remember a lot of things, more than we give them credit for at times, and those things remain with us and often form the basis of our belief systems into adulthood. So what happens if we grow up seeing the public facade and never knowing the full story, the secrets and the lies that are hidden to protect the reputation of the family?

Daughter of Mine unearths decades old secrets as well as recent indiscretions to turn a family on its head and challenge all the beliefs that have been held through long years.

I fell in love with all of these characters for different reasons and in different ways; even those who seemed cold and distant were a product of circumstance and as the story unfolded we got to know them which led to an understanding of their motivations and a deep sense of empathy.

Motherhood, sisterhood and daughterhood are all fraught with challenges and obstacles; some women face more than others and that is explored within these pages. I couldn’t help but feel for these women, some of the issues that they faced were obvious but others were much more subtle.

Daughter of Mine is a beautiful story of bonds, family expectations and the insidious and far reaching effects of secrets and lies. It may be the first book I have read by Fiona Lowe but I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Fiona Lowe can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and her Website.

Daughter of Mine is book #10 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2017.

Daughter of Mine is published by Harlequin Mira and is available now through Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Harlequin Mira 20 of our Beauty and Lace club members will be reading Daughter of Mine so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

20 thoughts on “Book Club: Daughter of Mine

  1. Three sisters, their mother, family secrets and life in a small country town in Victoria makes for a great read!

    Harriet the eldest daughter is Billawerre’s local Dr and surgeon. She is married to the Mayor, James and has a daughter Charlotte who is at boarding school. Harriet’s life seems perfect; she has a beautiful home, is well respected, happily married and a daughter who is going to follow in her footsteps as a Doctor.

    Xara the middle sister who was a lawyer in a former life is married to Steve, a sheep farmer in Billawerre. They have a daughter, Tasha who has celebral palsy and twin boys Hugh and Ollie. Xara has a chaotically busy life but she is always available if you need her.

    Georgie, the youngest sister is a teacher and lives in Melbourne. She has recently lost a child and her partner Jason has left her.

    Their mother Edwina is the matriarch of the Chirnwell family. A family who have been a part of Billawerre for over a 100 years and are very much looked up to by the community they live in.
    It is Edwina’s birthday and the family and community are gathering to celebrate. Edwina who has lost her husband Richard a few years ago meets a long lost love in town at a car rally just prior to the celebration and brings him along to the party. The daughters are aghast and the community is surprised and interested in who this man is.

    This is where the story really takes a turn and without divulging any spoilers there is so much to this family and their lives that you can’t help but feel invested in their future. There are tears, tantrums, love, anger, laughter but above all there is a family trying to find each other. The women in this story are all proud, strong and capable; which is inspiring, but at times exasperating as you really want to shake them and tell them to wake up.

    I really enjoyed my first Fiona Lowe book. The characters are really well developed and realistic . The banter between the sisters, their relationship with the mother and the handling of life long secrets is beautifully written.

    I highly recommend this book.

  2. A mammoth book and equally mammoth storyline to take you from the first page to the last as you follow all the memorable characters. You will be captivated from the first few chapters and you won’t be able to put the book down.

    This book is such an enjoyable, spellbinding novel, a story of compelling family secrets, lies, love and death. Whilst reading you are transported to the Victorian District and the beautiful houses that you can almost visualise due to the stunning cover photo.

    There are parts in the book where you will be giggling but there are also parts where tissues will be needed and I cried my eyes out.

    Without giving the storyline away, it’s about a mother’s love for her 3 daughters and grand kids. Lost loves, deceits, scandals and beautiful memories will capture your heart.

    While reading, I felt like I was watching a movie and I became a part of the family. You get to know each character’s personality personally through Fiona’s great descriptions.

    Fabulous book Fiona and thank you to Beauty and Lace plus Harlequin Mira for giving me such a mesmerising read.

    I could relate to the quote from Anonymous Sisters may share the same mother and father but appear to come from different families.

    This is definitely a novel that everyone would love to read and you definitely will not be disappointed.

  3. Daughter of mine by Fiona Lowe, is described as ‘an enthralling novel of lost love and tangled family secrets’. It is just that!
    The story is set in Victoria’s Western district and centres on the three Chirnwell sisters and their mother Edwina.
    Edwina is the matriarch whose relationship with her daughters is very different. Initially she is portrayed as a woman who needs to be sheltered from things as she has a very fragile disposition.
    Harriet , the eldest of the three sisters, is a well respected doctor/surgeon who is married to the mayor, has an eighteen year old daughter who is being groomed to follow in her footsteps, and whose life is ‘perfect’. Her relationship with her mother though, is anything but.
    Xara, the middle sister is lawyer who has settled into life as a farmer’s wife and mother of three.
    Then there’s Georgie , the youngest sister, a teacher who lives and works in Melbourne.
    Life as they know it changes the night of the surprise birthday party they throw their mother. Edwina turns up with a man they know nothing about. But this takes a back step when another secret is revealed that changes Harriet’s life for ever.
    Eventually more secrets are revealed that not only change lives but relationships. Only then are you able to understand why these four strong women are initially the way they are.
    I thoroughly enjoyed , Daughter of Mine and couldn’t wait to see how these four women would cope once all their family
    secrets are revealed. I literally could not put this book down.
    This is a great novel by a talented author I would definitely recommend.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Mira for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

  4. I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. It’s very interesting reading about family relationships and secrets. It seems nobody really knows a person even if you live with them. I felt the oldest daughter was very unlikeable and selfish but turned her life about in the end.This is the first time I have read a book by this author and will look out for her next one. I also liked reading about places in Victoria some of which I have been to.
    Thankyou for the opportunity to read this book.

  5. Thankyou to Harlequin for the opportunity to read” Daughter of Mine” by Fiona Lowe.

    I loved the book and would have read it in one go, but my own family and Easter got in the way!!!
    The style of writing is so easy to read and the characters are so life like they could be anyone’s family!

    Edwina Chirnwell : she is the daughter of a past member of Parliament, wife of Richard, mother to Harriet, Xara and Georgie, grandmother to 4 and now a widow of some 18 months.

    The eldest daughter Harriet, owner of an amazing property, surgeon, wife of James (the Mayor), mother of a teenage daughter. She has the perfect life, is rather upmarket with designer clothes etc

    The middle daughter Xara is married to a farmer, Steve. They have a daughter with a disability and then twins . She is rather down to earth and struggling financially.

    The youngest daughter Georgie has left the country area and teaches in Melbourne.

    It has not ever occurred to the daughters that their Mother Edwina had a life before marriage to their Father! Nor has it occurred to them that their Dad was less than perfect!

    The book is about the complicated relationships between sister to sister, and mother to daughter.

    As the secrets from the past unravel they all have to deal with their changing emotions and look at their family in a new light!

    A fantastic read!

  6. ‘Daughter of mine’ was another great book to read. It was a big story and seemed to take me ages to ge through, but that was ok because I wanted it to keep going to see what was going to happen. Like all good stories it had parts in it and characters that I didn’t like initially, but all turned out for the best in the end. We all think that we know our family and those close to us as well as we know ourselves, but this book demonstrates that we don’t know what’s happening behind closed doors and in the past if it’s not talked about. Communication is important, even if it can sometimes be hard.

    The characters were interesting and I really enjoyed the way that they developed throughout the story. I also liked reading about the relationships between the sisters.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace for another great book to review >:o)

  7. My first reaction when I received “Daughter of Mine” was “Wow”. I have to say I am a fan of a big chunky paperback. I was not disappointed. Reading this book was like having afternoon tea with a group of friends.
    “Daughter of Mine” tells the story of a mother and her three daughters and their interactions. What looks like a perfect family soon shows its cracks. Life in a country town is never boring, especially when there are secrets….lots of secrets

    Straight away I connected with all of the characters, forming opinions of them. As the book evolved, and the truth came out, those opinions changed slightly. The five main female characters: Edwina, the grandmother, her 3 daughters: Harriet, Georgie snd Xara, and Harriet’s daughter: Charlotte are each strong in their own ways. Their strength and their relationships are tested through a series of events.
    This is a very readable book. It deals with serious issues but not in an overly heavy manner. All of the characters come to life, and at times I felt like they were my own (slightly dysfunctional) family
    I would thoroughly recommend this book

  8. Daughter of Mine is one of those well-written books that is so difficult to put down. It didn’t take me long at all to feel like I was part of the Chirnwell family.

    The enjoyable story has plenty of family secrets and betrayals which tests their strengths and relationships. The characters felt very real and I wanted to keep turning the pages to find out more.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Mira for the opportunity to read this very interesting book. Well done to the author, Fiona Lowe for writing such a great novel.

  9. Absolutely loved reading this book . The unfolding storyline was believable and gave considerable insight into the reason for the behaviours of the characters. As a grandmother myself I related to Edwina and found her to be a strong ,loving woman who, due to her long held secret , had been misunderstood by her daughters. A very beautiful ending , Overall an excellent read , thank you .

  10. I cannot begin to describe how much I actually love Daughter Of Mine by Fiona Lowe.
    Another wonderful piece of writing by the author.
    I began the book thinking I would just read a couple of pages , well that didn’t happen. I just couldn’t stop reading.
    Both because of the storyline which revolves around the Chirnwell family .Grandmother Edwina , her daughters Harriet , Georgie and Xara and Harriets daughter Charlotte .
    Each with their own interesting storylines they weave a wonderful novel.
    Also the fact that the story is set in and around the Western District of Victoria in Australia, where I grew up and still live today.
    Having place names that are very familiar to me pop up made the book even more enjoyable as I could picture the places in my head.
    I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a lovely long but engaging book to bury their head in.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book

  11. When I started reading Daughter of Mine I thought that perhaps it might mesh with the structure of my family. I have three daughters and one has the name of the youngest in the book, Georgie. My youngest is at Uni and half way through her education to become a school teacher which is the occupation of Georgie the youngest daughter in the book. There were connections to Lorne, Victoria and Noosa, QLD which made me chuckle as we have those also. But thankfully that was about all I could grab and say “Same here” over. Im pleased to say that my relationship with my girls is very good and not strained in anyway… phew. Unlike the Mother daughter relationships displayed in the story. All my girls are very close and amazingly they never argue although they all live very different lives.

    To me this story shows clearly that no matter what there are things that happen in our lives that shape who we become. Some things good and some bad. The things that happen as we are growing up can have the greatest impact and often we carry those emotions with us unknowingly. Only for them to suddenly spring out many years later when we least expect them. It also dealt with how a person cope with holding a secret and the fallout that can occur when the secret is no longer.

    I loved the journey that Daughter of Mine took me on and being 500+ pages for me is always a wonderful bonus. I carried this book with me to various medical appointments at found that one day when the waits were all short …well..I felt a little annoyed and frustrated at the staff for being so on the ball as I just wanted the excuse to sit and read. The characters were all different yet all likable and once I reached the end of the book I was a little sad to have to let them go.

    I wonderful book and every easy to get into. Best enjoyed without interruption or like me you might be tempted to get grumpy with people 😀

  12. Thank you once again for giving me the chance to read another fantastic book Beauty and Lace!

    This book is ‘WOW’

    I could not put it down, is was glued to every page.
    I was not disappointed by reading this book.

    Fiona Lowe did an amazing job at writing this novel and pulling all the characters together.
    It was written so well that you felt you were right there in the novel itself.

    A big pat on the back for Fiona.
    I have never read any books by Fiona but I sure will be in the future.

  13. I have long loved Fiona Lowe’s novels and her latest offering is no exception.

    A compelling story about family dynamics and the love a mother has for her children. The way our interactions shape us is true for all families.

    Daughter of mine is a book that is relaxing to read but has great substance. I liked that it went beyond a quick read and really allowed me to understand the characters.

    Brilliantly written and absolutely would recommend this book to all.

  14. Thanks Beauty & Lace for the chance to read this fantastic book slight trepidation regarding the amount of pages but once started I forgot about the size of this book

    A story of a mother with three daughters each with their own personality which were described exceptionally by the author & all the secrets & lies that have remained dormant for a while but come out in the end

    I thought I would not like a couple of the characters but as I became more engrossed with the book found out why they were like they were

    Seems like we could all relate to some aspects of this family & thank Fiona Lowe for sharing this great read with us

  15. What a wonderful book! Daughter of mine, 3 sisters all in professional careers, isn’t it funny how we look at some family’s and they look so perfect! But all family’s have their secrets! This book covers all family members and you really get to know the characters Fiona Lowe is a fantastic writer and this book is one you don’t want to miss out on. Get a cuppa and a few tissues and read this book!

  16. Daughter of Mine a novel by Fiona Lowe is a story full of lost love and tangled family secrets.

    The story is about the Chirnwell family sisters Harriet, Xara and Georgie together with their mother Edwina and is set in Victoria’s western District.

    Edwina Chirnwell who married Richard and has been widowed for 18 months has secrets from before her marriage which you will find out as the story progresses and there is more than one secret involving the well-known family.

    Harriet the eldest daughter, and a career minded surgeon is the wife of James and the mother of a teenage daughter Charlotte. Xara the middle daughter is married to a farmer, Steve. They have three children, twins and a daughter with a disability. Georgie the youngest is single, a teacher and left the country area to live in Melbourne.

    I found the story to be quite long but having said that I wanted to keep reading to see what was going to happen next. We all think we know what our family is like and if there are any secrets, but having read this novel; and if you are thinking of reading, rest assured you may never know what could have happened in the past, and what may be revealed.

    I would highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a novel that they want to just keep on reading and reading to see what unfolds in the lives of the Chirnwell family.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for the opportunity to read this fantastic novel.

  17. I just adored this book!
    Without giving it away .. It explores family dynamics that we as women, wives, sisters, workers and mums can truly relate to.

    This book delves into different lifestyles, personalities and choices that we make and shows how we are all different and how the characters traits deal with fraud, love, sadness and family.

    This was such a great read and I loved the authors style of writing and the storyline.

    Thanks B & L!

  18. I loved this book.

    It explores the jigsaws that are families and their often rocky relationships. I could relate to this family and loved the honest description of the fractured relationships within it.

    Secrets can destroy both relationships and families and this book explores it in a way that readers will enjoy.

    Such a good read!

  19. Daughter Of Mine written by Fiona Lowe.
    The characters in this book are real and show the struggles that are often associated with everyday family life.

    The head of the family is Edwina, her story is the central element and connects to all the daughters in some way. The central theme of the book is secrets and the impact they have on the core relationships.

    Edwina’s eldest daughter Harriet has had family expectations so great places on her by her father that she feels the need to pass the pressure onto her own family. Xara is married and the mother of a child with a disability. Georgie is the youngest daughter who is lost after loosing her daughter shortly after birth. She is slowly rebuilding her self confidence and runs into another major set back in her relationship.

    The story shows the experience of the strong female characters. They are all holding deep secrets and facing challenges in their life but they are all holding them separately. This book had me just waiting for the family to come together and support one another.

    I found that the storyline was sometimes a bit slow for me and that I was able to predict what would occur next. It was a light read and enjoyable when the characters stories hit major points.

  20. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was left wanting more. The characters, even with their flaws were easy to relate to, even if they were difficult to like at times. This story takes the reader on a real journey of family history, one which spoke much truth to anyone who has resided in rural Australia. I love the twists and turns through the family history and thought the depiction of the ins and outs of family added an authenticity to the story.

    This is the first book of Fiona Lowes that I have read and I did find the writing style quite different to other authors in the same genre. Overall though it is a fabulous story which was very difficult to put down at times.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for the opportunity to read this book. Another fab author to follow 🙂

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