I haven’t read anything like this in a long time. Julia’s Daughters by Colleen Faulkner is a brilliant novel that illustrated the depth of the wounds with in a family after the death of a child. I received this book from Netgalley.This book captivated my attention from the very first page, and it held that attention until the last page! There was so much depth to this, that I felt like I was grieving right along with Julia and her family.
First of all, I want to say that this book came at an interesting time in my life. An old friend of mine just lost her 18 month old son, who was tragically killed on the last day of August. I opened this book up the day after his funeral, and all the sadness and grief I felt for the loss of that little boy, seeped into the pages of this book. Julia’s grief was not unlike the grief that the real life mother I knew is feeling. It was very raw, and real. It cut me to the bone, and I did cry a little bit during this novel.
Julia’s daughter Caitlin was killed in a car accident, unfortunately her oldest daughter Haley was driving the car that night. Haley’s guilt and grief have clouded her judgement, and now she is doing drugs, having reckless relationships with older men, and she even got expelled from school. Her youngest daughter feels left out, no one really pays attention to her, so she starts talking to her dead sister. Izzy, the youngest, also decides she doesn’t want to talk to Haley, because she blames her for the entire thing.
Julia and her husband Ben are drifting apart, even before the accident happened they weren’t that close, and it just seems like the catalyst for their failed relationship was the death of their middle daughter.
After Haley gets expelled, Julia decides to take her across the country to her best friends house. Only for some rest, relaxation, and maybe getting her away from it all will be like therapy for her. Izzy wants to come too, so the three girls drive to Main from Nevada, and in that time, they uncover secrets about each other, mend broken relationships, and start the healing process from the death of their sister and daughter.
This book gave me chills, it was very authentic. I honestly think it really did cut to the bone what it really feels like to lose a sister or a child. While on the roller coaster of emotions with this family, you can see how they become more open to each other every turn of the page. This is a story about redemption, reinventing yourself, and ultimately realizing that it’s okay to grieve, but it’s not okay to never be happy again.
This book gets 5 out of 5 stars, and I recommend it to everyone.