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Extended Audio Sample The Good Daughters: A Novel, by Joyce Maynard Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,705 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Maynard Narrator: Joyce Maynard, Rebecca Tuttle, Jeff Woodma Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The bestselling author of Labor Day returns with a spellbinding novel about friendship, family secrets, and the strange twists of fate that shape our lives

The Good Daughters

They were born on the same day, in the same small New Hampshire hospital, into families that could hardly have been less alike.

Ruth Plank is an artist and a romantic with a rich, passionate, imaginative life. The last of five girls born to a gentle, caring farmer and his stolid wife, she yearns to soar beyond the confines of the land that has been her family's birthright for generations.

Dana Dickerson is a scientist and realist whose faith is firmly planted in the natural world. Raised by a pair of capricious drifters who waste their lives on failed dreams, she longs for stability and rootedness.

Different in nearly every way, Ruth and Dana share a need to make sense of who they are and to find their places in a world in which neither has ever truly felt she belonged. They also share a love for Dana's wild and beautiful older brother, Ray, who will leave an indelible mark on both their hearts.

Told in the alternating voices of Ruth and Dana, The Good Daughters follows these "birthday sisters" as they make their way from the 1950s to the present. Master storyteller Joyce Maynard chronicles the unlikely ways the two women's lives parallel and intersect—from childhood and adolescence to first loves, first sex, marriage, and parenthood; from the deaths of parents to divorce, the loss of home, and the loss of a beloved partner—until past secrets and forgotten memories unexpectedly come to light, forcing them to reevaluate themselves and each other.

Moving from rural New Hampshire to a remote island in British Columbia to the '70s Boston art-school scene, The Good Daughters is an unforgettable story about the ties of home and family, the devastating force of love, the healing power of forgiveness, and the desire to know who we are.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Joyce Maynard has outdone herself in this beautifully written story you’ll find hard to put down and impossible to forget.” 

    Elizabeth Berg, author of The Last Time I Saw You

  • “Maynard’s spare prose packs a rich emotional punch…a can’t put-it-down mystery.” 


  • [A] beautifully written book.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A profoundly moving chronicle of the primacy of family connection.” 


  • Selected for the September 2010 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Crubano410comcast.comnone | 2/17/2014

    " Loved this book!! Think it was the best book I read this year. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Erin | 2/16/2014

    " Joyce Maynard is another of my favorite authors...each of her books is profoundly different. In this novel, two girls born on the same day in the same small town are forever linked in ways more than they know. One girl's mom, who knows the truth, makes it her business to keep in touch with the other throughout her lifetime. The girls were switched at birth, but at the end, an even deeper secret is revealed. Beautiful, fascinating story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by RNOCEAN | 2/13/2014

    " "Two families, the Planks and the Dickersons, are mysteriously entwined in this exquisite novel that centers on decades of life at a New Hampshire farm. Youngest daughters Ruth Plank and Dana Dickerson, born on the same day in the same hospital, take turns narrating the struggles they face as children. Ruth feels a coldness from her mother; Dana is unsettled by her kooky parents constantly uprooting her and her brother Ray. Regardless, the Planks pay a yearly visit to the Dickersons no matter where they've ended up living. As the girls come of age, Ruth takes an interest in art, sex, and Dana's brother, Ray, with whom she later reunites, at Woodstock, in a swirl of drugs and mud. Meanwhile, Dana realizes that her desires are directed toward women and sets off to pursue agricultural studies at a university, where she meets Clarice, an assistant professor. As time goes by, the floundering Plank Farm is in danger of being seized by Ruth's former boyfriend, a man who has had his eye on the land for years. As Ruth and Dana pursue love, contemplate children, and search for home, the truth of what unites their families is finally--at long last--revealed, in this beautifully written book." *****Rate this book 5/5. I LOVED THIS BOOK! The descriptive language of love and loss in this book was a pleasure to read. I have not read this author before, but I will seek out her other books. This book tells the story of two incredible women, how they adapt to life, their loves and their losses and how things come together in the end. Very beautiful book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Melana | 2/10/2014

    " I liked the characters. You definitely knew the "shock" early on in the book but the characters were good enough that you wanted to keep reading to see what happened to them. "

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