REVIEW: Inconvenient Daughter

“I forgot the first time I met my Mom was in an airport, and not in the delivery room of a hospital. I forgot the stick never turned blue for her, and instead, motherhood was delivered via phone call during my grandfather’s wake…I forgot there was another woman out there I could call ‘mother’.”

Why Did I Read This Book?

I am part of the Our Women’s Writes Book Club in which this amazing business will post a book a month directly to you, to help support women authors and talents. They then host a discussion about the book via Zoom and it is just an excellent way of reading more women’s fiction. If you would like to learn more about Our Women’s Writes, have a look at my blog post which featured an interview with their founder here.

This was the book I received for July and it was one I was extremely excited about…

What Did I Think?

What I loved about this book was it didn’t just focus on transracial adoption. Yes, transracial adoption is prominent without the story, but through this, author Lauren J. Sharkey explores a whole breadth of themes.

Lauren J. Sharkey’s debut novel follows a young girl named Rowan Kelly who was adopted by an American family from Korea when she was a little baby. The story focuses on her journey to adulthood and honestly depicts the struggles of an adoptee who wants to feel like someone’s first choice.

What this book does excellently, is it explores the hardships of teenage and young adult years. Everyone always says that your teenage years are your best years but it isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be and Inconvenient Daughter explores this eloquently. When you are young you are vulnerable. You are trying to find yourself with a new sense of independence, and trying to be different whilst trying to fit in at the same time. It’s a difficult and confusing time. Young people are vulnerable to controlling, harmful and dangerous relationships because they want to experience their own independence and make decisions for themselves. Rowan finds herself in some awful situations and all her relationships are with people who don’t really love her but she sticks around because it’s nice to feel wanted by someone. My heart breaks for her numerous times throughout the book.

Lauren J. Sharkey beautifully explores mother and daughter relationships in this book too and the transracial adoption theme is one that allows us to explore the difficulties in mother/daughter relationships. Without giving too much away, Rowan believes her mum hates her because she isn’t her real mother. Rowan believes that her adopted mum (and not her ‘BioMum’) could never fully love her like her own because she isn’t her biological daughter. It’s heartbreaking that Rowan would think like that and this belief, in my opinion, is what drives her to leave home and do some questionable things.

I think the journey that Rowan goes through as she tells us about her life, is one that by the end allows Rowan and us, as readers, to see the issues with her relationship with her mother and those she has held with other people. I think by the end, we are forced to question what we originally thought of both Rowan and her mother, and this journey was one I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

“I blamed her for not holding me down, shining a light in my eyes, and demanding to know the truth about where I was going and what I was doing.”

Inconvenient Daughter

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Published: 2020
Publisher: Akashic Books/Kaylie Jones Books
# of Pages: 233
Genre: Fiction, Transracial Adoption
Trigger Warnings: Abusive relationship, assault, blood, drugs, emotional abuse, physical abuse, racism, rape, sex, sexual abuse
Links: Goodreads, Amazon, Blackwells

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