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The good daughters
Joyce Maynard
Adult Fiction MAYNARD

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

While Maynard's last novel, Labor Day, was delightful and unexpected, the premise of her new title is obvious from the start. Two girls, conceived during a hurricane in rural New Hampshire, born in the same hospital on the same day, grow up not understanding what binds their diametrically opposite families together. The Planks are fourth-generation New England farmers, practical and rooted. The Dickersons drift from one get-rich-quick scheme to another. Ruth Plank, though she adores her hardworking, dependable father, does not fit in-she's artistic and emotional, tall and lithe, while her four sisters are stolid and stocky. Dana Dickerson finds little in common with her nontraditional parents and instead relates more to the goats she raises and the strawberries she plants. Verdict While the connection between the "birthday sisters" ultimately comes as no surprise, Maynard's descriptions of the two women's lives from the 1950s to the present is rich and realistic. Particularly touching is Dana's relationship with her dying lover. Buy for readers who enjoy character development over plot.-Christine Perkins, Bellingham P.L., WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Ruth Plank
Feels a connection to a family friend; grows up together with Dana.

Dana Dickerson
Feels a connection to a family friend.

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