After reading author Lois Duncan’s I Know What You Did Last Summer, I had to write my comparison of book to the famous horror film of the same name here. Even after reading her novel, I wanted to learn more about the author and the other books she’s written. Sadly, we lost her in earlier last month after a long battle with cancer.
Throughout her career, she penned over 30 books including screenplays that have been transformed into memorable theatrical realeases and made for television films like Hotel For Dogs (2009), Killing Mr. Griffin (1997), and Stranger In Our House (1978).
I searched my library audiobooks to see if they had any of her novels on file. The first that immediately popped out to me was Daughters of Eve. This book has received great criticism from feminists, claiming it to be anti-feminism and offensive to women’s rights. I have to disagree with them. As a woman, I am all for women’s rights but there are sometimes where certain individuals take it to the extreme. Daughters of Eve is a testament of a possible outcome of this extremism. However, the delivery is too slow, there were points of the book where it deserved to contain further explanation, and the ending is abrupt and leaves you wondering , “That’s It?”
The story starts innocently enough with a group of teenage girls joining a popular sorority-like club called The Daughters of Eve. Led by their art teacher, Ms. Stark, the girls are revealed to how behind the times their small town is when it comes to women’s rights. In these girl’s hometown, Husbands get away with abusing their wives and the public doesn’t question it, girls and women are belittled by their accomplishments or intelligence, a girl has to give up her future by marrying her lover if she conceives a child out of wedlock, teenage boys are allowed to run around and not have responsibilities while their female siblings do, and mothers quit their jobs because they have children instead of working to help support her family. The moment Ms. Stark realizes these chaotic events and begins to plant her seeds into the brains of these young girls on what to do. Later do we find out Ms. Stark has her own agenda and secrets to which she uses as an anchor to influence these girls.
I’d like to mention, one of the girls has a small psychic ability of sensing the future or possible evil lingering in the background, but it doesn’t truly add anything to the story nor does the character use her gift to save the day. All of the girls, excluding her, listen and enact on the ideas Ms. Stark places in their heads.
On one occasion, the girls take revenge on one of the member’s brothers for using another member while him and his ex-girlfriend were broken up. The girl, who is an outcast and overweight, believes every word this guy says regardless of the signs that she’s being used are there. Later, he stands the poor girl up at prom by taking his ex instead then sends his younger brother to the girl’s house. His brother then attempts to rape the girl after he reveals the girl was used! The girl precedes to try and overdose on her mother’s sleeping pills, sending her to the hospital. Don’t worry, he get’s his just desserts.
Even though their first vengeful act is understandable, these girls become increasingly out of control due to Ms. Stark’s guidance. I compliment the girls for standing up for themselves in their own situations, but Ms. Stark needed to be stopped. Because of her influence, one of the girl’s snaps and kills someone.
This book is one I’d read with caution and do not take offense to it! It’s merely a work of fiction. However, it is proof to how much teenagers can be influenced, violence is NEVER the answer, and women need to stand up for themselves for what is RIGHT and not for what is wrong because they are not looking into why a certain event is not turning their way.
This book is the tip of the iceberg on my list of Lois Duncan books to read, be prepared to see more reviews of her books soon!
My Rating: 5 out of 10 Book Charms