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This is My Daughter

This is My Daughter

A Novel

  • reading group guide
When Peter and Emma, both refugees from failed first marriages, decide to create a new life together, they do so with an optimistic commitment to creating a union -- and forging a new family from two existing ones -- bonded by love and trust. Their young daughters, however, are not partners in this new venture, but helpless participants. Like all children of divorce, the girls feel sorrow, loss, and a longing for their earlier lives. As the tensions and complexities grow steadily more powerful, This Is My Daughter moves inexorably to a stunning and emotional climax. Roxana Robinson, who has established a reputation as a perceptive chronicler of WASP family life, delivers a beautifully moving and compassionate account of a marriage in peril, proving once more that class and privilege provide no protection from the passion of opposing desires.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 416 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684864365 | 
  • September 1999
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

"You'll like my daughter," Peter told Emma, "no matter what she does to you. If she bites you."

Emma looked at him, to see if she was meant to laugh, but Peter was driving, and did not turn. Emma considered his profile, looking for clues: the long straight nose, the sober deep-set blue eye. The line of Peter's mouth was stern, and his tone had suggested not mirth but reproval. Disturbed, Emma turned away to face the road herself.

"I'm sure I'll like her," she said politely.

But it was an alarming announcement. She wondered what Peter meant: was he warning her that his daughter was difficult? Was he reminding... see more

Reading Group Guide

READING GROUP GUIDE
Set on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and in a summer retreat in New England, Roxana Robinson's second novel, This Is My Daughter, is the gripping, emotional story of two divorced parents trying to forge a new family. Still contending with the guilt and danger that accompanied the dissolution of their first marriages, Emma and Peter marry with the best intentions. They embark on a new life together, confident that their love and commitment will help their daughters Tess and Amanda heal after the tragedy of divorce. But the obstacles prove more challenging than either Peter or Emma had imagined. As their daughters' resentments and rebellions intensify, deceit, split loyalties, and a tragic accident threaten to tear the family apart. This Is My Daughter is an insightful and heartbreaking examination of the dynamics of divorce, the sorrows of childhood, the nature of familial love, and the possibility for redemption and new beginnings.
Discussion Questions
1. Are Peter and Emma both justified in ending their first marriages? When Peter tells Amanda that he and Caroline are separating, he says'. "It's not your fault, and it's not your mother's fault. It's no one's fault." Emma says: "When you get divorced you never feel it's your fault....Everyone feels they've been driven to it." Is Emma "driven" to divorce? Is Peter? To what degree can blame be assigned to one partner when a marriage ends? Do you feel sympathy for see more

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