Friday, June 28, 2019

Review - Her Daughter's Mother

Author:  Daniela Petrova
Genre:   Psychological Thriller
Publisher:   G. P. Putnam's Sons
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  320
Date of Publication:  June 18, 2019
My Rating:  4.5 Stars

She befriended the one woman she was never supposed to meet. Now she's the key suspect in her disappearance. For fans of The Perfect Mother and The Wife Between Us comes a gripping psychological suspense debut about two strangers, one incredible connection, and the steep price of obsession.

Lana Stone has never considered herself a stalker--until the night she impulsively follows a familiar face through the streets of New York's Upper West Side. Her target? The "anonymous" egg donor she'd selected through an agency, the one who's making motherhood possible for her. Hungry to learn more about her, Lana plans only to watch her from a distance. But when circumstances bring them face-to-face, an unexpected friendship is born.

Katya, a student at Columbia, is the yin to Lana's yang, an impulsive free spirit who lives life at the edge. And for pragmatic Lana, she's a breath of fresh air and a welcome distraction from her painful breakup with her baby's father. Then, just as suddenly as Katya entered Lana's life, she disappears--and Lana might have been the last person to see her before she went missing. Determined to find out what became of the woman to whom she owes so much, Lana digs into Katya's past, even as the police grow suspicious of her motives. But she's unprepared for the secrets she unearths, and their power to change everything she thought she knew about those she loves best... 


Lana Stone has been trying everything possible to have a baby. Just as she is about to try her eighth and last chance at IVF, her relationship implodes. However, she goes ahead with the procedure. Lana and her partner Tyler were determined to give the child some Bulganian roots, due to her mother's heritage, so a donor was found. For reasons Lana cannot understand, she is determined to find out as much about her as possible. The egg donor, Katya, should have been anonymous, but Lana was able to discover her identity. She makes the decision to follow her, and, although Katya doesn't know the connection, the two form a brief friendship.

Katya is a Columbia student who has very good reason for donating her eggs. However, Katya disappears and this really upsets Lana. With the procedure being a success, albeit delicately tentative, Lana feels that it is her responsibility to discover what happened to Katya. She is relentless in her search for answers, much to the consternation of the police. The police actually become wary of Lana, especially as they discover what happened to Katya. What is more, secrets are exposed and this eventually makes Lana a likely suspect in what is going on.

Her Daughter's Mother is a crafty mystery that grew out of one woman's desire to be a mother. There were a lot of layers in this story, which was delivered in multiple points of view. With Lana, particularly, we learn a lot about her. She was really obsessed with her desire to be a mother, which is something that I am sure many women can relate to. What I liked about her in the story was her determination, and not just to have a child. It was her determination to protect her pregnancy, but even more, her drive to solve Katya's disappearance, all while dealing with a painful breakup.

Another interesting character is Katya, and this was played out from the past, and this part of the story led to a twist that changed everything in this story. While Lana was a strong woman, Katya was a loose cannon, to say the least. We also have the story from Tyler's perspective, and this was handled well, although with him leaving Lana in the beginning made it hard for me to like him. 

These three characters, the scenarios, the shocking twist and the compelling conclusion all came together in a very well-written story that was near to impossible to put down. I found this to be an engaging read that blended both mystery and emotion. Daniela Petrova is a debut author who has done a fantastic job. I definitely look forward to reading much more by her.

Many thanks to G. P. Putnam's Sons and to Edelweiss for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Daniela Petrova grew up behind the Iron Curtain in Sofia, Bulgaria. She came to the US in her early twenties and earned a BA in Philosophy from Columbia University and an MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness from New York University. She is a recipient of an Artist Fellowship in Writing from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Her stories, poems and essays have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, and Marie Claire. Her first novel, Her Daughter’s Mother, is forthcoming from Putnam in June 2019. She lives and writes in New York City.