Book Review: Only Daughter (Anna Snoekstra)


Rebecca Winter, a sixteen-year-old girl, disappears. Eleven years later, a woman in a shopping center is arrested for shoplifting. She claims to be Rebecca Winter to get out of trouble. Soon, the fake Rebecca is living Bec’s life and soon she realizes that things are not as they appear….

Only Daughter, the debut novel by Anna Snoekstra, is a psychological thriller following an unnamed woman as she manipulates police into believing that she is the missing Rebecca Winter in order to evade police charges.   As her lie escalates and she begins infiltrating Rebecca’s family and friends, the replacement Rebecca settles into her new life and starts to piece together the bits and pieces of the real Rebecca’s life and makes some chilling discoveries.

This book has been getting incredibly mixed reviews from what I’m seeing on my Goodreads account and from other bloggers.   I may be in the minority with my opinion, but I loved this novel!

The premise itself is brilliant; the idea that someone would take advantage of such an event (the disappearance of a young girl) was unsettling and set the tone for the rest of the novel. The author uses alternating points of view between Rebecca, referred to as Becs (before she went missing) and the replacement Rebecca as she manipulates her way into the fold.     The novel is pieced together slowly and then a whirlwind in the last 30 pages.  The development of Rebecca the fraud and her new family was one of my favourite features of the book.   I found myself feeling angry, then nervous  and then completely unsettled as the events unfolded.

Snoekstra created an intriguing plot that kept me guessing until the very end. I felt like Only Daughter was extremely well written; it’s a nice short read, lighter than most thrillers. I liked that a lot of the plot was only eluded; we didn’t really get any true answers until the last few pages. It kept me into the story and consistently guessing.


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