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The Favorite Daughter
June 4, 2019
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop at Water’s End, here is a lush, heart-wrenching novel about the power of memory, the meaning of family, and learning to forgive.
Ten years ago, Lena Donohue experienced a wedding-day betrayal so painful that she fled the small town of Watersend, South Carolina, and reinvented herself in New York City. Though now a freelance travel writer, the one place she rarely goes is home—until she learns of her dad’s failing health.
Returning to Watersend means seeing the sister she has avoided for a decade and the brother who runs the family’s Irish pub and has borne the burden of his sisters’ rift. While Alzheimer’s slowly steals their father’s memories, the siblings rush to preserve his life in stories and in photographs. As his secret past brings Lena’s own childhood into focus, it sends her on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.
"A satisfying read about family and forgiveness."
"[I]n Henry’s satisfying latest novel . . . . readers will be immersed in this moving tale, hungry to learn whether love and family will overcome betrayal, secrets, and heartache." —Publishers Weekly
Listen to Excerpt: Narrated by Joshilyn JAckson
Available in Large Print
Sept 25, 2019
Editorial Reviews & Accolades
"[I]n Henry’s satisfying latest novel . . . . readers will be immersed in this moving tale, hungry to learn whether love and family will overcome betrayal, secrets, and heartache."
"[H]enry’s latest (after Becoming Mrs. Lewis, 2018) packs an emotional wallop, delving into the bonds and tragedies that make a family. . . . Readers of thoughtful family dramas will be drawn to the travails of the Donohue clan.”
"Named one of 10 Southern books for your
summer reading list."
"Scribes of Summer"
Patti Callahan Henry & The Favorite Daughter Interview
"2019 Summer Reading List"
30 of the latest beach reads, mysteries, Southern fiction and more to read as temperatures rise
Deep South Magazine
"The 34 Best New Books to Put in Your
Beach Bag This Summer"
" The 10 best books of June to read while you soak up the sun"
You know that feeling when something you’ve always cared and wondered about ends up in a story. Yeah, that feeling? Well, it happened to me when I wrote this novel – my fascination with memory and how it defines us has shown up in a few of my novels, but in this one, it takes center stage. This time, my curiosity stole the show.
Life is made up of thousands of memories, if not millions. The smell of a favorite childhood landscape. The touch of a loved one’s hand. The sound of a lover’s whisper. The sight of a baby’s smile. The ache of loss and heartbreak.
Do such memories define us? They often seem to, and yet – what is a memory?
Amorphous connections inside the brain? Electrochemical signals? Synapses connecting with the patterns of things that have happened to us? These are – of course – questions that don’t have a fully satisfactory answer.
Well, sometimes "story" seems to be the only answer I can find. So please meet the Donohue family as they struggle with not only the memories they want to forget but also and more importantly, the ones they want to keep.
There are so many exciting things in this newsletter that I am pleased to share with you, including a new video we just made about the beautiful landscape where I tell my stories, plus a book club kit. Scroll on down!
All Love, 💜
—Patti Callahan Henry
The Women's Alzheimers Movement
THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER centers around a family that must either come together or fall apart (or both) over an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Not often does an author’s past and a story’s future come together as it does in this book.
My past life (not that kind) was as a pediatric nurse, and my graduate thesis centered on brain injuries. I have long been fascinated by the role memory plays in our lives and as a definition of self.
💜 When @teresamumu introduced me to the work of WAM (Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement) with @mariashriver Maria Shriver, I knew I had found a kindred spirit in facing these questions head-on with action. Real action and research.
I’ll be talking so much more about this – but for now – check them out. Check out their brain healthy tips and subscribe to their newsletter. Information is coming in at a rapid pace and they are keeping up! @womensalzmovement