Letters To My Daughter’s Killer

The idea for this novel was quite simple – a bereaved mother writes to the person who killed her daughter in an attempt to move beyond rage, and the desire for vengeance, and to find some sort of acceptance.  There is a long tradition of novels written in letter form, Shelley’s Frankenstein is one, as is Dracula by Bram Stoker and more recently Shriver’s We Need To Talk About Kevin.  There were challenges in choosing to use this narrative style, in getting the tone right and working out what information was revealed when and what would be divulged to the murderer through the letters, but I found it refreshing to try something so different. These days many of us use emails in place of letters but for the most personal most significant events, around love and death and birth, we still may choose to write a physical letter.  Something that can be held and kept safe and re-read.  When I was younger I wrote regularly to lots of people, family and friends, as a way of keeping in touch.  Now decades later that has shrunk to continuing correspondence with just two.  Prison must be one of the few places where personal letters still predominate, as prisoners are unable to send email or use Skype or mobile phones.  And there is no limit on the number of letters a prisoner can receive.  So the epistolary form did seem to be the best narrative device for the story I wanted to tell.  Hope you like it.

8 thoughts on “Letters To My Daughter’s Killer

  1. As the mother of a daughter who was brutally murdered four years ago I saw this in the library and was curious. This more or less mirrors the things that happened to my daughter and the way I have felt towards her killer, who was actually her ex husband. You have hit the nail on the head with the way you express your feelings towards the killer and the way you as Lizzie’s mother felt upon learning what had happened. I can’t recommend this book enough which is possibly strange as one would think that the further away from this one is the better. You have captured all the emotions that have been felt and I have to say that I am so glad I caught sight of this book when I was looking for something else. Thank you for writing it.

    • Anne, thank you so very much for your comment and for taking the trouble to get in touch. First can I say how sorry I am that you lost your daughter, that must have been totally devastating. I can only imagine it. I am touched and honoured that you found the book reflected your own experiences and feelings. That is really humbling. As a writer you can only hope that what you are making up will come across as authentic. I hope you won’t mind that I edited your comment a little bit so as not to give anything away about the story. Thanks again and wishing you all the best, Cath.

      • Thank you for your reply Cath. It’s a strange thing to say but I actually enjoyed reading your book. It mirrored my experiences and thoughts and I’m happy I was able to even pick it up let alone read it. You did such a wonderful job in the thoughts and emotions of Lizzie’s mother and it’s nice to know that some of the thoughts I had you expressed in your book. Thank you for writing it.

        • Thank you Anne. Your kind comments mean a great deal to me and I’m really pleased that you were able to enjoy the book after everything that had happened. Fiction is amazing isn’t it? And libraries for giving us access to all those stories. Wishing you well. Cath

  2. I have been asked to review your book for a newspaper in NZ. It is beautifully written and I read it in one gulp. It is so plausible that it’s hard to believe it’s fiction. Anyone who has lost a child will be deeply touched by your book. It is well edited and as an author, I find your writing has taught me a lot about keeping up the reader’s interest. Congratulations. I will be highly recommending it. Jonquil

    • Thank you so much Jonquil, and for taking the time to get in touch. I would love to see a copy of the review when it is published. All the very best with your writing too. Cath

  3. The librarian in our local branch recommended your book to me. So glad she did. Your characterisation of Ruth was excellent. I just reviewed it for my blog – hope you don’t mind too much that I highlighted one area that didn’t work too well for me but otherwise I will be recommending this to my book club.

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