Synopsis from Goodreads: In 2003, sixteen-year-old Rebecca Winter disappeared.
She'd been enjoying her teenage summer break: working at a fast-food restaurant, crushing on an older boy and shoplifting with her best friend. Mysteriously ominous things began to happen—blood in the bed, periods of blackouts, a feeling of being watched—though Bec remained oblivious of what was to come.
Eleven years later she is replaced.
A young woman, desperate after being arrested, claims to be the decade-missing Bec.
Soon the impostor is living Bec's life. Sleeping in her bed. Hugging her mother and father. Learning her best friends' names. Playing with her twin brothers.
But Bec's welcoming family and enthusiastic friends are not quite as they seem. As the impostor dodges the detective investigating her case, she begins to delve into the life of the real Bec Winter—and soon realizes that whoever took Bec is still at large, and that she is in imminent danger.
Stats for my copy: Trade paperback, Mira Books, per the cover it goes on sale October 2016; per Goodreads the expected publication date is September 20, 2016.
How acquired: Won in a Goodreads giveaway.
My thoughts: Normally I'm not a fan of first person present tense narration, but I barely even noticed it here, which I assume is a testament to the author's writing. ONLY DAUGHTER opens with the narrator getting busted for shoplifting, and then announcing to the police that she is Rebecca Winters, and was abducted eleven years ago. The narration then switches back and forth between our first person narrator telling us her story in 2014, and third person narration giving us Bec's story in 2003, shortly before she disappeared. The writing flows and I bounced through this book quickly. Bec's disappearance, of course, was never solved, and still haunts the detective in charge of the investigation, as well as her family and friends.
As the impostor settles into Rebecca's life, her home, her old bedroom, her family, she teeters between staying one step ahead of the detective and convincing everyone she is Bec, and the growing feeling that someone is watching her, that whoever took Bec is going to try to take her also. We, the reader, think we are figuring out what happened to Rebecca, how she disappeared, but then some new little tidbit of information will come to light, pointing us in another direction.
Even knowing that the impostor is not the real Rebecca, she becomes a sympathetic character. She may be lying to everyone around her, but she is still a reliable narrator, and I began rooting for her, while very much wanting to know what became of the real Rebecca.
I think I saw somewhere that ONLY DAUGHTER is a Young Adult book, and it reads quite easily without any dumbing down. It was interesting the see the contrast between the supporting character's personalities (Bec's family, her best friend Lizzie) in 2003 and then eleven years later in the wake of Bec's disappearance, and how it affected some of them. It's grim, and I cant even imagine how horrible it would be to have your child suddenly gone and to never know where to or why.
And as the end of the book looms, the tension ramps up. Following the real Rebecca in the days and hours leading up to her disappearance, following the impostor as she becomes more afraid for her own life. And then a twist, followed by another twist, which I never saw coming. A truly gripping and captivating book.