The Daughters

The Daughters Lulu can t sing Since the traumatic birth of her daughter the internationally renowned soprano hasn t dared utter a note She s afraid that her body is too fragile and that she may have lost her talen

  • Title: The Daughters
  • Author: Adrienne Celt
  • ISBN: 9781631491948
  • Page: 188
  • Format: Paperback
  • Lulu can t sing Since the traumatic birth of her daughter, the internationally renowned soprano hasn t dared utter a note She s afraid that her body is too fragile and that she may have lost her talent to a long dreaded curse afflicting all of the mothers in her family.When Lulu was a child, her strong willed grandmother Ada filled her head with fables of the family s enLulu can t sing Since the traumatic birth of her daughter, the internationally renowned soprano hasn t dared utter a note She s afraid that her body is too fragile and that she may have lost her talent to a long dreaded curse afflicting all of the mothers in her family.When Lulu was a child, her strong willed grandmother Ada filled her head with fables of the family s enchanted history in the Polish countryside A fantastical lore took hold an incantatory mix of young love, desperate hope, and one sinister bargain that altered the family s history forever Since that fateful pact, Ada tells Lulu, each mother in their family has been given a daughter, but each daughter has exacted an essential cost from her mother.Ada was the first to recognize young Lulu s transcendent talent, spotting it early on in their cramped Chicago apartment, then watching her granddaughter ascend to dizzying heights in packed international concert halls But as the curse predicted, Lulu s mother, a sultry and elusive jazz singer, disappeared into her bitterness in the face of Lulu s superior talent before disappearing from her family s life altogether Now, in the early days of her own daughter s life, Lulu now finds herself weighing her overwhelming love for her child against the burden of her family s past.In incandescent prose, debut novelist Adrienne Celt skillfully intertwines the sensuous but precise physicality of both motherhood and music She infuses The Daughters with the spirit of the rusalka, a bewitching figure of Polish mythology that inspired Dvo k s classic opera The result is a tapestry of secrets, affairs, and unimaginable sacrifices, revealing a family legacy laced with brilliance, tragedy, and most mysterious and seductive of all the resonant ancestral lore that binds each mother to the one that came before.

    One thought on “The Daughters”

    1. Oddly, my second book about an opera singer that I've read this year, following Alexander Chee's historical melodrama: /review/showThis one, however, is a contemporary tale. Lulu, the singer, has recently given birth to a daughter, and is still physically recovering from the ordeal. She's also having quite a lot of stress regarding her secret: the girl is not her husband's child. Does he suspect? Should she tell him? On top of that, there are the questions likely shared by all new mothers: how d [...]

    2. Oof. I'm not even sure I can adequately sum up what reading this book meant to me. The author is a dear, dear friend, so I'm grateful to see these words arrive in a book, but beyond my personal attachment to the human who wrote it, this book feels tremendously important and tender. The number of times, as I read, that I felt the gooseflesh break out over my arms due to a particular turn of phrase—ah, I lose count. At heart, Adrienne Celt has written a story of inheritance and legend, of women [...]

    3. One of the (many) things I found stunning about this novel is the way it doesn't just walk a line between realism and magical realism, but plays with it in a way I found to be totally fresh and actually pretty remarkable, so the reader is constantly asked to reconsider what is true and knowable, and what is wondrous and mysterious about our lives and the way we tell them into being through story. Exquisitely written sentences just ice it. Really worth getting lost in.

    4. Unfortunately the synopsis was more interesting than the plot of this book. While it wasn't particularly bad, and the writing was pretty, nothing really happened. To be honest, after a couple of disappointing misses, maybe I should just consider magical realism as being "not for me"

    5. In Celt’s dazzling debut, new mother Lulu is a world-famous opera singer who can no longer sing. According to Lulu’s family lore, when a woman has a daughter, she loses something vital…and Lulu has just had a daughter. Bouncing back and forth between past and present, The Daughters is a gorgeous, riveting story about family, mythology, and curses. Tune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all things new books, All The Books: bookriot/category/all-the-

    6. The question at the heart of "The Daughters" is not whether the mothers and daughters of this family are cursed, but whether it's possible to escape a finely-woven web of family mythology. Full review of Celt's lyric, dark novel at DenverPost.

    7. This book managed to keep my attention throughout, but by the end I felt as though something was still missing from the plot.

    8. A beautifully written multi layered novel.A story full of Polish folklore opera &the complexities of Mother daughter relationships.Highly recommend this gorgeous novel.

    9. A friend once asked me how I define great writing. Great writing can be characterized by many things, but one particular thing that makes writing stand out for me is when beautiful words are put to complicated and nuanced thoughts, feelings, or experiences that I've had, but have been unable to articulate to others (or even myself). There is both a sense of relief and companionship in sharing the articulation of the complicated human experience. "The Daughters" is beautifully written and I would [...]

    10. I read this at a good time, pregnant with my first daughter. Therefore, the parts about Luscia and her experiences with new daughter Kara, as well as the importance of new daughters with each generation, really resonated with me. The writing was often lyrical. Overall I wanted to keep coming back to it, because of the above, but I also skimmed heavily at parts, so I don't think I'd recommend it to many people.

    11. This will be a short review, since I already can't remember much about The Daughters. Yes, it's lyrical, and it's about an opera diva, and it's about mothers and daughters and an ancient curse. It makes for a good premise, but the problem is that it goes nowhere in particular. There are a lot of things unsaid, which are fine in some books, but I didn't think it helped this one. I'll read a future book if Adrienne Celt's name is on it though, because she does write beautiful sentences.

    12. It was as easy for me to become absorbed in The Daughters as it was for Lulu to become absorbed in her own family lore. The language is lush and insightful. Come music lovers, especially-- those of us who tend to dwell in imaginations made rounder by sound.

    13. The premise was really cool. I enjoyed the character of Ada and found her a fun mixture of loving and spunky. There were some beautifully descriptive passages in here. The Polish folklore and magic were intriguing. My main problem with this book is in execution. It simply didn’t rise to the level of the promising premise. I found it rather boring and it just didn’t hold my interest. While it was well-written and I’d be interested in reading more from this author, this particular book is no [...]

    14. I really enjoyed how Celt wrote about music. I felt like there wasn't quite enough pay off on the Gretta/family history aspect, but overall liked it a lot.

    15. I don't really understand the rave reviews. Reading this for Book Club felt like homework. I was relieved when it was finally, finally over. I feel vaguely betrayed that I put time into this story and came away with nothing. I found myself thinking, "I'm investing all this time in this book--where's the payoff to the story?" There was no insights gained, no new perspectives. I was trudging through the words like snowdrifts: The first few steps are pretty and then it just becomes hard work. And a [...]

    16. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.I thought that this book had prose like a swarm of bees: humming and buzzing and uncannily alive. I really loved the experience of reading the words that make up this book, which is pretty rare for me; I value prose strength as probably the least-valuable criterion for evaluation (because there are authors who are truly incredible word-artists but their books are boring). I also really liked all the Greta stuff, which reminded me o [...]

    17. Pretty story and the author has a vivid imagination, but the plot didn't really come together. Also left me wondering if the author really knew much about Poland. She talks a lot about the woods and villages, and yet consistently refers to Ada coming from Poznan - hardly a village. - so I sometimes struggled to orientate myself in the story.The names she used also threw me off. Maybe it's nitpicky, but a Polish great-grandmother called Greta? Malgorzata (or the diminutive Gosia) would be the Pol [...]

    18. This was a slow read and was not as interesting as the synopsis would have you to believe. Lulu is a professional opera singer and there is a curse in her family. After the birth of a woman's first girl child, she will lose a gift. In this case Lulu lost her ability to sing after giving birth to her daughter Kara. This is how the book started. The middle of the book spoke to her childhood, the tense relationship she had with her mother, and her grandmother BaBa Ada who she adorned and the wonder [...]

    19. wordnerdy/2015/09This was a very pretty little book about a line of mothers and daughters, their musical talents, their storytelling, and so on. It centers on Lulu, a successful opera singer who has just given birth, as she meditates on motherhood and on the stories she was told of her great-grandmother in Poland. The writing here is really strong, but I did wish for a little bit /more/, particularly about Lulu's mother Sara. And about the Jewish people on the other side of the great-grandmother [...]

    20. I'm going to try to do this without spoilers! The Daughters deals in the many layers of connection between mothers and daughters and lovers. In her first novel, Celt manages to write with rich prose that stops just short of showing off. At times her use of description is lush, but then she drops in a gorgeous fragment to bring me back to the now. The book's setting also telescopes back and forth in time without ever dropping the central threads of the protagonist's story. Lulu is lost in a postp [...]

    21. I loved this book. It may not be for everyone but I'm s sucker for lyrical prose and imaginative story telling with a little mystery and magic thrown in. It might be considered a modern fairy tale or a cautionary tale but for me it was a glorious escape into the imagination of a gifted writer. I may just sit down and read it through again, just for the pleasure of it. NPR labeled it "seriously good writing" on their top books of 2015 and I agree.

    22. This is literally the ten thousandth book I've read that features some combination of mothers and daughters, Eastern European country, mythology, magical realism. And thus, this review suffers because my reading fatigue. The writing was quite beautiful but holy ritz crackers, I'm bored with this niche genre.

    23. Starts off really strong and doesn't quite fulfill that promise, but it's still a wonderful story that captures some of the magic of this family. It's great.

    24. I did not know I was going to love this little book so much. Somehow it just riveted me with its mix of emotional reality and fairy tale.

    25. This is a story of four women. It starts with Greta, the legendary matriarch, who may have made a deal with the devil to deliver a daughter. Next came Ada, who immigrated to America from Poland, pregnant with her daughter Sara, and who raises Sara's daughter Lulu to be a great opera singer. Ada has molded Lulu since she was in the womb to be an opera diva, and that is exactly what she is. She is selfish and self-absorbed and not really likeable at all. She believes her daughter will fulfill the [...]

    26. When I first heard about this book, I was very excited. All in all, I enjoyed the book, it kept me at the edge of my seat, wondering what happens next. But, I did have one problem in that, I did not enjoy so many flashbacks. So, I do know that it was important for the story, but it does get confusing.

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