Remarrying, Claire acquires a step-daughter, eight-year-old Mandy—about the age Sarah would be had she lived. Part vamp, part jealous, bossy and troubled, Mandy is nothing like Sarah, who still lives on in Claire's imagination.
As Claire lives two lives—one real, one imagined—the clash between the two daughters threatens to destroy her, releasing the demons she has managed, so far, to hold at bay. As the story hurtles towards its harrowing ending. Claire must choose between her new life and her haunted past.
"A Real Daughter is the real thing: a compelling, psychologically astute inquiry into the seismic shifts of one, uneasily blending California family haunted by the past."
- Cristina Garcia, novelist, Dreaming in Cuban, National Book Award finalist
"Has a Maupassant quality of horror artfully restrained—until it isn't … Masterful writing and storytelling … Deeply unnerving."
- Hilary Reyl, novelist, Lessons in French
"The writing is luscious and chilling. Expect to be afraid—and then horrified."
- Mary Morrissey, novelist, Mother of Pearl, Lannan Literary Award for Fiction
About the author
At age fourteen, Lynne McKelvey won Seventeen magazine's short story contest. Then, after earning degrees in English at Harvard and UC Santa Barbara and founding a singles club for people with advanced degrees, she veered off into academia, returning only recently to writing fiction. A native Southern Californian, she now divides her time between Pacific Palisades and Washington DC, where she dotes on her four grandsons.
Author website at www.arealdaughter.com