“Lily is a tough judge in Ventura County, California, who has overcome adversity and heartache to achieve a position of power to help those who cant help themselves. Like the current case before her, the sensational murder trial of a woman who tortured and killed her beautiful two-year old son. Lily is determined to see justice done but she’s thrown for a loop when she receives word that her own daughter, Shana, months away from graduating from Stanford Law School, is on the verge of dropping out. Lily rushes north and what she discovers causes her to fear for her daughters mental state. She must get back to the trial and decides that she will take Shana to a facility where they can evaluate her and if needed give her some counseling or medication.
Which is when things go horribly awry. For the institution that Lily has chosen is far less interested in treating patients than it is with bilking the insurance companies out of extravagant fees…and they are less than scrupulous about patients rights. Discovering the awful truth, Lily will have to summon all her intelligence and street smarts to find a way to free Shana. She will have to work fast however, for there is someone at the facility who seems to have his own agenda separate from the institution. And Lily’s daughter may not only be in danger of losing her sanity but her life.”
Thoughts: Had I realized that this was a continuation of a story, I probably would have bypassed My Lost Daughter. It would have saved me the time it took for me to speed read through this rather blah story. There is something about a character who has survived being raped, two divorces, murdering the wrong man, the murder of her ex-husband, and the politics to get a seat on the Superior Court of Ventura County that is more than unbelievable; it becomes a bit unbearable as well.
The story itself is extremely repetitive. Told in two parts – Lily’s and Shana’s experiences – Ms. Rosenberg flashes back to all the evils done to Lily and Shana and then some. Not only that but she then revisits these flashbacks by continually mentioning them. This does nothing but bog down the story while doing nothing to further it. Lily’s story consists of nothing more than her memories of the past, worries about Shana, and fretting about her relationship with her fiance.
Shana’s story is only slightly better. Her experiences in the mental hospital are truly awful but a bit too awful. While there is no doubt that such places do exist solely to cheat the insurance companies, one gets the impression that Ms. Rosenberg was trying to drive home the point a bit too forcefully. Not to mention the fact that the entire storyline is rather predictable. Even the sloppiest of readers will be able to discern how the book will end well before the ending.
My Lost Daughter remains one book that was better left unread. Lily and Shana are not the most impressive of characters. They are both whiny, self-centered, and just plain stupid about their decisions. The story itself is poor and poorly written with too many repetitive scenes and phrases to provide the much-needed continuity good mysteries need. While the message about our health care system is an important one, the entire story is too heavy-handed to be effective, unfortunately.
Acknowledgements: Thank you to Forge Books for my review copy.