Review - Only Daughter, Anna Snoekstra

Review Written By
Andrea Thompson

ONLY DAUGHTER has two perspectives. The first is that of Bec Winter who disappeared in 2003 and the second is that of her current day doppleganger, a "homeless by choice" young woman. The imposter settles quickly into Bec's life with loving parents, two younger brothers and friends who have been mourning the loss of the vivacious sixteen year old version of Bec for over a decade. Was she really missed? Who knows the truth? It's the opportunistic and not malicious insertion into the Winter family by the imposter which makes this novel interesting. The imposter is someone outside of the circle who is observing them all with fresh and untainted eyes, making her own judgment calls and piecing together what the (still missing) Rebecca was really like. Yes, there is slippage in this read that may be due to editing in the attempt to make the setting more universal (ie American) or it may just simply be that the author felt like mixing things up i.e. Mom (us) and Mum (Australian). Little slips like these don't distract too much away from the moody endless summer/Puberty Blues feeling that ONLY DAUGHTER economically evokes; it's a very familiar (and oddly low-tech) setting/period that most young Australians will recognize; all of us have gone through those rites of passage such as the first menial job whilst still in high school, and battled through those tumultuous teenage relationships that are never built to last beyond our childhood. You'll nip through this novel in one or two sittings; it is not dragged down by the minutiae of a police investigation (though there is a detective still working the case) and the speed and ease in which young people live their responsibility-free lives is conveyed well. As the imposter increasingly becomes aware that she has stepped out of the proverbial frying pan into something much worse, the tension slowly builds. It does take an astonishingly long time for the imposter to realize that if she's around, and Bec isn't, there is possibly a killer still about - observing everyone and faking their personality just as much as the new Rebecca is too.

Year of Publication

Home can be the most dangerous place of all...

In this chilling psychological thriller, one woman’s dark past becomes another’s deadly future.

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 imposter 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 imposter 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. 

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