Finally, the long-awaited conclusion to this two-part series of Titles on Trend: the “daughters” portion of “Wives & Daughters.” If you didn’t catch the first part, the “wives,” check it out here. I easily compiled a list of books following the same pattern of “The [insert occupation of choice here]’s Daughter” without even fudging the format.
I know there are a number of other titles involving daughters, such as Daughter of Smoke & Bone and Daughter of the Pirate King, but I’m limiting my list to those that follow the exact formula I listed above. Because, you know, we learned about being succinct in my English undergrad. And if I failed to take anything overall to heart about being succinct and to the point, I did hone in on specific methods of cutting down a word count: you don’t write the “daughter of blank,” you write “blank’s daughter.” So I’m privileging those titles that follow this version of the possessive tense.
1. The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch, 2008
The Hangman’s Daughter is billed as a historical murder mystery with a healthy dose of supernatural paranoia folded into the landscape of seventeenth century Germany. It sounds intriguing, but to be perfectly honest, which I am never anything but not, I was unimpressed with my one taste of Pötzsch’s writing so far. A book that also promised to be supernatural, criminal, and intriguing, The Ludwig Conspiracy, fell a bit short in my estimation, as I related in this post. However, this book is quite literally Pötzsch’s claim to fame, and so may be better than his other works.
2. The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton, 2018
Not to be confused with The Clockmaker’s Wife, as stated in my previous post, this novel appears to be a dual narrative of events unravelling during a heady summer in the nineteenth century and more current events of a woman uncovering this past and her connection to it. Despite my professed dislike of these two-time narratives, I have read a good one or two. This may actually be a book I pick up in the future, as I see it everywhere and it always has a subtle attraction for me.
3. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards, 2006
This is another fairly popular one I never really knew what was about, but reading the book blurb for this post, it isn’t like anything I would have expected from the title or cover. It’s about twins separated at birth, rejection due to perceived abnormalities, and the lasting toll grief, selfish decisions, and lies have on the families. I can’t say from the description that I’m really interested—I’ve read too many depressing family dramas that move slow and get nowhere. If you have had a different experience with this book, I would love to know in the comments, though.
4. The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd, 2013
A YA novel about a girl whose father conducts gruesome experiments on a remote island, those sci-fi horror experiments have now run amok and she feels the responsibility to stop him. I always intended to read this book, and I don’t remember why I didn’t. I read another book by the same author, called The Cage, the premise of which reminds me of that episode of Magi Nation where Strag gets captured and put in a bubble of his native climate/landscape in a little eco-zoo. Did anyone else watch that show on their Saturday morning cartoons? It feels like a fever dream. And so did the book The Cage, which I barely remember anything about, besides that the main love interest wasn’t very interesting. I had a bigger crush on Strag, to be honest. Perhaps The Madman’s Daughter would be a better read.
5. The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse, 2014
Set in 1912 in a small town full of superstition, a public murder rocks the community and they struggle to make sense of it while threatened with environmental menace in the form of rising tides. The weird environment the protagonist has grown up in, surrounded by stuffed things of another era frozen in dusty displays, is reminiscent to me of The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman, which was atmospheric and memorable. And I did enjoy the mini-series adapting Mosse’s novel Labyrinth, so I always felt she would be an author I should try.
6. The Housemaid’s Daughter by Barbara Mutch, 2013
Set in 1919, just a few years after the previous book on this list, this has an intriguing setting, following the immigration of an Irish woman to South Africa during apartheid and her experiences with losing love, and finding it unexpectedly in the daughter of her housemaid. I can’t say it really strikes me as my kind of story, very family-drama-and-nothing-else-ish, but it holds some interest simply from novelty, I think.
7. The Musician’s Daughter by Susanne Dunlap, 2009
“Murder, romance, and music.” I can’t really sell it better than the book’s own blurb. This is a story of the Viennese school in its heights, the famous Esterhazy family’s patronage, and renowned musician and composer Franz Joseph Haydn. The daughter in question is rocked by the death of her father and begins to uncover the secrets that may have led to his demise. It is a YA novel, and despite its unprepossessing generic-historical-novel cover it seems right up my alley. I may have to take a trip back to the library where I first spotted it and actually check it out.
8. The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson, 2011
This is one I was reminded of since seeing it years ago somewhere. It’s Christian YA, and is part of a series that is loosely based as fairytale retellings. From the gist of this one, I would guess it was Beauty and the Beast. I have a feeling that if I had actually gotten a hold of it to read when I was a teenager, I would probably have liked it, but I have a hard time seeing myself picking it up today.
9. The President’s Daughter by Bill Clinton and James Patterson, 2021
I just goggled with incredulity when I spotted this in the department store’s thin book section. Where exactly do they think the market for this is? I’m sorry. I’ll try and give it a fair shake and actually tell you what it’s about. A former Navy SEAL and POTUS is trying to retire quietly when he is made aware of a threat against his daughter. And that’s it. Not very original or compelling, if you ask me. And here I was just thinking I should read more James Patterson. I think I’ll start with something like The Jester or The Lake House. I just couldn’t be less interested in this.
10. The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory, 2013
Part of Gregory’s historical Plantagenet and Tudor novels, this tells the story of one of the daughters of the man known as the kingmaker and the political intrigues that she is entangled in throughout her life and marriage to the man who would later be crowned Richard III. I’m definitely interested in Gregory’s books, I just haven’t had the best luck with reading historical novels about the English monarchy from this period. Maybe it’s because I haven’t tried Gregory—she must be doing something right to be so successful.
11. The Bookseller’s Daughter by Pam Rosenthal, 2004
I did think this would be a bit more bookish, and a bit less erotic. So, daughter of a bookseller is now a scullery maid, only now she is in a position to be taken advantage of by the young men of the family who employ her. So another guest in the house, who she once had a flirty encounter with in her father’s bookshop, has to come to the rescue by seducing her first. Hard pass for me.
12. The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Santa Montefiore, 2014
A story of a mother and daughter, told in the two different eras and locations of their growing up, they discover a congruence of events as they both face heartbreak and the weight of the past. Probably another pass for me, given its structure and subject, but it looks like a decent family drama, discovery-type tale for those who like that sort of thing.
And that wraps up the daughters section. It seemed once I started looking, I couldn’t stop finding more. Originally, this post was supposed to be a list of ten like the last one, but here we are with twelve. Unlike the wives section, I definitely didn’t see as much of genre homogeneity, either. Although there were still a good amount of historical ones, over all there seemed to be more variety of the type of story with the daughter books. Do you know of any more? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in comments!