I love Roxana Robinson. Sparta is one of the few books that made me cry. Each book I’ve read of hers is a story of a family struggling with ordinary stresses, endeavoring to find a way to remain intact. In This Is My Daughter, the stress is divorce. Emma, mother of Tess, divorces her abusive husband. Much later she finds a man, Peter, marries him and tries to build a new life. Things are complicated by his daughter, Amanda, who rejects Emma, hates Tess, blames Emma for her parents divorce, and spurns every effort Emma makes to reach out to her.
What I love best about Robinson’s characters is their reality. There are no heroes here, just ordinary people striving to cope with the extraordinary demands placed upon them by life. It is Robinson’s skill at depicting their efforts, their mistakes and small triumphs, that lift them out of the realm of soap opera into literature.
Extremely well-written, the attempts of Emma and Peter to find happiness and cope with the stresses of a blended family are depicted with rare grace.