Daughters of Fortune

Daughters of Fortune

A Novel

  • reading group guide

William Melville’s daughters are heiresses to the world’s most exclusive fashion dynasty. Beautiful and rich, they are envied by all. But behind the glittering façade of their lives, each girl hides a dark secret that threatens to tear their family apart.

Smart, ambitious Elizabeth knows how to manipulate every man she meets, except the one who counts: her father.

Gentle, naïve Caitlin, the illegitimate child, struggles to fit into a world of privilege while staying true to herself.

Stunning, spoiled Amber, the party girl with a weakness for bad boys; more fragile than anyone realizes.

As each of them seeks to carve out her own destiny, Elizabeth, Caitlin, and Amber face difficult choices, which will take them in wildly different directions. But as old wounds resurface and threaten to destroy the foundations of the Melville empire, their paths will cross again. Because the simple truth is that, no matter how far you go, you cannot escape the claims of family.
Choose a format:
  • Atria Books | 
  • 480 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439165065 | 
  • May 2010
List Price $28.99
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Read an Excerpt


London, December 1974

The young woman hurried along the street. It was the fourth time she’d passed through Eaton Square in the last hour. She knew that because she’d kept count, and she had a nagging suspicion that the policeman on the corner had, too. She tossed her head back, trying to look as though she belonged here, among the elegant rows of stucco townhouses that characterised Belgravia. But she had no hope. In her cheap coat and threadbare mittens, it was clear Katie O’Dwyer had no business in a place like this.

As she reached the middle of the street, her pace slowed until she... see more
Chapter 1

Valleymount, Ireland

Katie O’Dwyer died on a Tuesday. She was buried three days later, on a warm June morning, Valleymount’s first glimpse of summer. The whole village turned out for the funeral, testament to her popularity with everyone who’d ever met her.

Her fifteen-year-old daughter, Caitlin, stood by the graveside, watching the pallbearers lower her mother’s coffin into the ground. She’d made it through the Mass without crying but now, as the priest began the Rite of Committal, it finally hit her. Mam was gone and, for the first time in her life, she was all alone.... see more

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Daughters of Fortune includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Tara Hyland. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


At the age of fifteen, Caitlin O’Dwyer loses her mother, only to find out she is the daughter of English fashion mogul William Melville. Forced to leave her small Irish village and everyone that matters to her, Caitlin must move to England and become a part of the Melville family. Unused to the staid manners and traditions practiced within the family’s stately home, Caitlin’s even more out of place with her new sisters: the elder Elizabeth, a serious, ambitious blonde; and the younger Amber, a coltish free spirit who always underestimates the implications of her wild behavior. Tara Hyland’s debut novel is an epic family drama swirling with romance, fashion, scandal, loss, jealousy, and money. As three very different sisters are pitted against each other and their family, they discover that the ties that bind a family may also be the means for tearing it apart.

Discussion Questions

  1. Caitlin, Elizabeth, and Amber may share the same fath
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About the Author

Tara Hyland
Photograph by Sophocles Alexiou Pictorials



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