Title: Her Daughter’s Mother by Daniela Petrova
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
She befriended the one woman she was never supposed to meet. Now she’s the key suspect in her disappearance. For fans of The Perfect Mother and The Wife Between Us comes a gripping psychological suspense debut about two strangers, one incredible connection, and the steep price of obsession.
Lana Stone has never considered herself a stalker–until the night she impulsively follows a familiar face through the streets of New York’s Upper West Side. Her target? The “anonymous” egg donor she’d selected through an agency, the one who’s making motherhood possible for her. Hungry to learn more about her, Lana plans only to watch her from a distance. But when circumstances bring them face-to-face, an unexpected friendship is born.
Katya, a student at Columbia, is the yin to Lana’s yang, an impulsive free spirit who lives life at the edge. And for pragmatic Lana, she’s a breath of fresh air and a welcome distraction from her painful breakup with her baby’s father. Then, just as suddenly as Katya entered Lana’s life, she disappears–and Lana might have been the last person to see her before she went missing. Determined to find out what became of the woman to whom she owes so much, Lana digs into Katya’s past, even as the police grow suspicious of her motives. But she’s unprepared for the secrets she unearths, and their power to change everything she thought she knew about those she loves best…
Her Daughter’s Mother by Daniela Petrova is a mesmerizing domestic mystery.
Lana Stone is a successful career woman who has been in a relationship with her partner, Professor Tyler Jones for eight years. For the past several years, they have been engulfed by infertility treatments and heartbreaking miscarriages. Having finally made the decision to use a donor egg, Lana is days away from her upcoming embryo transfer when Tyler leaves her. Despite a few qualms about going through with the procedure, Lana seizes this last chance at pregnancy.
Soon after learning she is pregnant, Lana recognizes their egg donor and decides to get to know her. Katya Dimitrova is a vivacious twenty-one year old college student from Bulgaria and Lana is dazzled by her refreshing honesty and effervescent personality. Needing a distraction from her personal life, Lana joins Katya for an evening of dining and dancing but later in the evening, she goes home early. Dismayed when she does not hear from Katya again, Lana is soon consumed by guilt when she discovers her new friend has gone missing. Determined to find out what happened to Katya, Lana is shocked by the information that soon comes to light. Unable to let go of her suspicions that someone harmed Katya, will Lana uncover the truth?
Anyone who has ever experienced infertility will emphasize with Lana’s decision to go through with the embryo transfer. She does go through short-lived bouts of guilt over her choice, but ultimately, she easily pushes aside these momentary misgivings. Lana also knows she should not be hanging out with Katya, but her curiosity about her egg donor is insatiable. She is determined to learn more information about Katya’s disappearance and Lana is unable to stop herself even when she knows she is endangering her future.
Chapters from Tyler’s and Katya’s perspectives fill in some the blanks about the months preceding the events unfolding in the present. Tyler is frustrated by Lana’s inability to give up the infertility treatments. Instead of confronting her with his feelings, he begins making questionable decisions that eventually put him in a very difficult situation. Katya’s chapters are very illuminating and provide valuable insight into her motivation for becoming an egg donor. They also reveal a very different picture of the happy go lucky young woman.
Her Daughter’s Mother is an absolutely riveting mystery that is impossible to put down. The main characters are immensely flawed yet they are also easy to sympathize with as they blunder their way through life. The storyline is engrossing and each chapter builds the suspense and tension to a fever pitch. Daniela Petrova masterfully conceals the truth about what happened to Katya until the nerve-wracking but somewhat low-key conclusion. A very clever debut that fans of the genre are sure to love.