The Someday Daughter
Published February 20, 2024
About The Someday Daughter
Years before Audrey St. Vrain was born, her mother, Camilla, shot to fame with Letters to My Someday Daughter, a self-help book encouraging women to treat themselves with the same love and care they’d treat their own daughters. While the world considers Audrey lucky to have Camilla for a mother, the truth is that Audrey knows a different side of being the someday daughter. Shipped off to boarding school when she was eleven, she feels more like a promotional tool than a member of Camilla’s family.
Audrey is determined to create her own identity aside from being Camilla’s daughter, and she’s looking forward to a prestigious summer premed program with her boyfriend before heading to college and finally breaking free from her mother’s world. But when Camilla asks Audrey to go on tour with her to promote the book’s anniversary, Audrey can’t help but think that this is the last, best chance to figure out how they fit into each other’s lives—not as the someday daughter and someday mother, but as themselves, just as they are.
What Audrey doesn’t know is that spending the summer with Camilla and her tour staff—including the disarmingly honest, distressingly cute video intern, Silas—will upset everything she’s so carefully planned for her life.
While I didn’t feel the immediate connection with this book that I did with O’Clover’s debut, I think there’s still so much to love about her sophomore novel. There’s lots of room in the young adult book sphere for mining mother-daughter relationships, especially complex ones. At times, I worried that the story would drift into condemning Audrey for her wounds and boundaries with her mom, and though there were a couple of conversations I wish had gone differently, the story explored those hurts and responses to hurts with a lot of sensitivity and depth.
The romance subplot moves very slowly, which actually really works here. Because the story is largely focused on Audrey’s relationship with her mom, the way her mom’s book has made her feel, and the way people treat her because of her connection to her mom, I think the romance needed to be more of a back-burner-simmer rather than demanding the spotlight. It also helped to showcase what supportive relationships can look like– they don’t demand centerstage when the moment isn’t right.
All of that to say that two books in, I’m still a huge fan of Ellen O’Clover’s writing. I love the depth that she creates and explores in her main characters, and I’m absolutely here for whatever book(s) come next.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
One minor character is Asian American. Another is gay. Another is a lesbian.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat frequently.
Audrey recalls a time that her mom showed up at her school (for other reasons) and wound up having a sex education with the other girls in her dorm. References to sex.
Kissing between boy and girl. In one scene, they undress together, and the scene ends with their intention to have sex.
A girl gets out an Ouija board, intending for the group to use it.
A girl nearly drowns in a lake. A tropical storm brings violent wind and rain.
Teens drink alcohol at a club.
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