The Favorite Daughter


By: Patti Callahan Henry

ISBN: 978-0399583131

Publisher: Berkley 

Publication Date: 06/04/2019  

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: 5 Stars 


Top Books of 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.


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My Review


From the NYT bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry (one of my favorite authors) of the award-winning historical fiction: Becoming Mrs. Lewis (Top books of 2018) — comes THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER. A beautifully written heartfelt story of the importance of memories, home, family and loyalty. 


"May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten." —Irish Proverb 


From betrayal, loss, joy, forgiveness, dark hidden secrets, and love. A search for answers before it is too late. From Virginia to Ireland, from New York to the Low Country (Watersend, South Carolina)—two sisters, a brother, and a father with Alzheimer's and the power to preserve life in stories.


"Memory, once waked, will play the tyrant." —C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces.


Colleen (Lena) was getting married. However, something occurred that day and she ran. The wedding was to be held in the church and all the Donohue's would be in attendance. Her younger sister, Hallie had helped plan the wedding. One single mistake that day changed the course of things to come for many years. 


Then ten years later, Colleen Donohue was returning from NYC to the Lowcountry. Her brother, Shane, tells her their father is getting worse due to dementia and she needs to come home. 
She and her sister are estranged. 


"The problems with memories, Colleen Donohue often thoughts, wasn't with the ones she couldn't let go of, but with those that wouldn't let go of her."


Colleen was never the favorite daughter. She did not know why, but she always had the sense there were hidden secrets. Her sister Hallie is upset that her older sister abandoned the family. 


However, there are secrets that slowly unravel. Colleen has managed to put the events of the past behind her until she comes to face to face with what drove her away. 


The siblings come together to create a memory book for their dad. They want him to remember as much as he can before losing his memories to his battle with Alzheimer's. In the process, some of the hidden secrets from the past will surface. 


Each chapter begins with a beautiful and thought-provoking quote. The master storyteller once again dazzles her readers with spellbinding prose and a powerful message of forgiveness. 


A "must read" bittersweet novel of the strong bonds of family and defining "home" and what it truly means. When it is more than just a place. 


"If you want to keep a memory pristine, you must not call upon it too often." —Sally Mann, Hold Still 


Highly recommend!


Move this gem to the top of your summer beach reads. Character-driven with lots of heart and an ideal choice for book clubs. (discussion guide included). 


A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.








“Patti Callahan Henry is quickly becoming one of my favorites. [This] is a story of reflection, forgiveness, and surprising twists.”—Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author


“The Favorite Daughter is both heartfelt and heartbreakingly honest in its portrayal of a family once divided by scandal and brought together through the power of memories....Moving, intelligent, full of twists and turns, I loved it! Patti Callahan Henry shines at family dramas and The Favorite Daughter is her best!"—Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Guests


“In exquisitely-wrought prose, Patti Henry lyrically examines the meaning of forgiveness and the inexorable tug of home.”—Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of The High Tide Club


“A layered, spellbinding novel about families and lovers and the meaning of home. Above all, it’s about memory, how it shapes us, fools us, and warms our hearts. This is one truly beautiful book.”—Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author of A Nantucket Wedding


About the Author



Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times bestselling author of fifteen novels, including the historical fiction, BECOMING MRS. LEWIS – The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis and her upcoming contemporary Southern fiction novel—THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER, coming June 4, 2019. 


Patti’s books include Losing the Moon, Between the Tides; Where the River Runs; When Light Breaks; Between the Tides; The Art of Keeping Secrets; Driftwood Summer; The Perfect Love Song: A Holiday Story; Coming Up for Air; And Then I Found You; The Stories We Tell; The Idea of Love, The Bookshop at Water’s End, Becoming Mrs. Lewis and The Favorite Daughter.

Patti attended Auburn University for her undergraduate work, and Georgia State University for her graduate degree. Once a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, she now writes full time. The mother of three children, she now lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband. Read More




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