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Brooke's Pick: The Someday Daughter by Ellen O'Clover

The daughter of a self-help superstar, Audrey is determined to create her own identity and agrees to go on her mother's book tour, hoping to figure out how they fit into each other's lives, but is unaware of how much this summer will upend her carefully planned life.

The perennially conflicted mother-daughter relationship is a tale as old as time, and a rite of passage that many of us go through … and are still combating well into adulthood. Which is what makes Ellen O’Clover’s The Someday Daughter such an important and relatable book for teenage & young adult girls.


O’Clover’s new novel follows Audrey, the eponymous "someday daughter" of Camilla, a self-help guru and therapist who became wildly famous after she penned a book, Letters to My Someday Daughter when she was just 24 years old, long before Audrey was even born. Audrey is now here and a teen, and has spent her entire life in the shadow of her mother’s success, labeled time and time again as the “someday daughter.” The weight of being Camilla’s daughter is crushing, and Audrey knows something that no one else does - that being the daughter of the woman with all of the answers is not everything it is cracked up to be.


Audrey has big plans to be a doctor and has her sights set on spending her summer before college in an intensive pre-med training program, but soon finds her hopes dashed when her mother insists she join her on a cross-country tour to celebrate Letters to My Someday Daughter’s 25th anniversary. There is nothing Audrey would rather do less than spend time with her mother on stage in front of thousands of adoring fans, answering awkward questions with a fake smile plastered across her face.


However, this will prove to be a life-altering summer for Audrey as she begins to learn more about her mother and her choices … and herself. As Audrey preps to head out to college, the stakes are high - this suffocating summer will either make or break her relationship with Camilla. But which will it be?


As soon as I started reading O’Clover’s The Someday Daughter, I knew that I had a winner in my hands. Poignant and reflective right off the bat, I could tell that this was going to be a book with some weight to it; a novel that examined life and relationships through the eyes of an emotionally conflicted teenage girl with the gravitas they deserve. The Someday Daughter takes me back to the YA fiction we were getting 10-15 years ago - a time when novels dealt with teens grappling with authentic and relatable emotions and relationships. This book is purely about a complicated mother-daughter relationship, the pressures of going to college and being a perfectionist at the same time, and figuring out love for the first time. These are all things most teenagers face, making this story accessible, but O’Clover has also made her novel intriguing by having her main character play out these feelings with an unwanted spotlight overhead.


Recommended to teenage girls just embarking on their life’s journey - this novel would make a great high school graduation present for all of the avid readers out there! - Brooke, Public Relations Librarian


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