Authors Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould gambled writing a book within a book. My Daughter’s Legacy is actually two stories running parallel, one set in present day Virginia, the other 1864 Virginia. The risk doesn’t pay off; the two stories don’t mesh together well.
The book starts out in the present day jarring the reader when it jumps into the past without warning. The difficult transition continues throughout the book as the reader becomes engrossed in the story but never knows when the course will change and they’ll be teleported back to the past or thrown into the future.
1864 Virginia is much more intriguing with its tales of the Civil War, Underground Railroad, Southern Belles, Yankees living in the South, and the battles over slavery. One easily gets caught up in the story of Therese Jennings, a young woman born into a wealthy slave holding family with a father who is an Abolitionist.
Ironically, one assumes the book’s title, “My Daughter’s Legacy” is drawn from the legacy of Therese’ deceased father, but honestly, this reader is still uncertain. The title leaves the reader shaking their head and wondering at the authors’ intent in choosing it.
Current day Virginia’s portion of the story is dull and somewhat confusing as the characters try to solve a mystery tying back to their Civil War era ancestors. This part of the story is too short with many confusing details. Nicole Talbot, the modern day lead character’s story wraps up way too neatly and quite abruptly.
The book is worth reading just be prepared for awkward & repeated transitions from present to the past.
*A complimentary copy of the book was provided in exchange for this review.