HER FATHER’S DAUGHTER by Mollie Poupeney

HER FATHER’S DAUGHTER

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

As her father’s favorite, seven-year-old Maggie Morrison lords it over her older brother. She likes to box; he does not. She is adventurous; he is retiring. She talks back to Daddy; her brother gets the beatings. Daddy is a hard-drinking logger in the Oregon forest during the 1930s. Mom is a long-suffering wife trying to keep her two sons and daughter safe and fed as they move from place to place. In the next seven eventful years of Maggie’s life, a stinking beached whale dies, and her father and his friend dynamite its body, accidentally killing her handicapped friend. A neighbor offers to buy Dad from Mom after Dad knocks up the neighbor’s sister. Mom divorces Dad, and Mom and the kids go to live with Grandma. Her uncle and her mother’s boss subject Maggie to sexual advances. Maggie does well in school, but one teacher is concerned more about Maggie’s toilet habits than about her academic achievement. Although another teacher recognizes her artistic talent, Maggie moves again just after she gets this recognition. She sneaks cigarettes, exploits her younger brother, steals Christmas presents, visits her father in jail, writes to an interned Japanese-American girl, kills a pony by riding on it, and comes to terms with her womanhood. She’s a feisty heroine, a survivor, though not always likable, in a first novel with many powerful passages and excellent dialogue but weakened by too much plot in an episodic format. Whew! (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-385-32760-9
Page count: 245pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2000