The Someday Daughter | Ellen O’Clover


Coming February 20th, 2024 from HarperTeen

Content Warning: Death of parent, underage drinking, sexual content

About the Author: “Ellen O’Clover writes stories about finding your people, falling in love, and figuring it all out (or trying to, anyway). She grew up in Ohio and studied creative writing at Johns Hopkins University before moving west to Colorado. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her reading fiction about big feelings, trying new recipes with mixed results, or hiking in the Rockies. She lives near Boulder with her rocket scientist husband and two perfect bulldogs” (Bio from author’s website).

Find Ellen O’Clover on the following platforms:

“Needing help from the people around us, and giving that help back to them in turn, isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s what makes us human.”

In her final summer before college, the last place overachiever Audrey wants to be is on a tour for her mother’s book, which has defined both of their lives and their relationship with each other. Instead of attending a prestigious pre-med program with her high school boyfriend, Audrey is stuck traveling across the country with her mother and the tour’s eccentric staff, including Sadie, a kind mentor with a secret, and Silas, the disarming and enthusiastic intern. Over the course of this tour, as she interacts with her mother and the staff, Audrey will surprise herself as her outlook on life and relationships change dramatically.

The Someday Daughter is a powerful coming-of-age story that explores family and personal relationships, identity, and self-acceptance. Told through the compelling voice of 18-year-old Audrey, the story beautifully navigates Audrey’s struggles with trust, anxiety, and finding herself. As Audrey embarks on this dreaded book tour, one of the most touching and pivotal elements of the novel emerges in the “found family” storyline. While a majority of the book’s focus is paid to Audrey’s relationships with her mother and Silas, the dynamic between her, staff members Mick and Cleo, and Puddles (the dog) are also incredibly meaningful. Each of these side characters serve an important role in pushing Audrey to find meaning and enjoyment in her life. Silas, especially, is a catalyst for the change in Audrey’s outlook, and their relationship is one you can’t help but root for. However, at some points, it feels like Audrey relies on Silas, just as she relied on her high school boyfriend Ethan, to determine her needs. For this reason, I wish there would have been more time devoted to Audrey acting and growing independently from the context of her personal relationships. Audrey’s path towards healing is not linear, and her constant internal conflict demonstrated how challenging it was for her to confront the long-held resentment she felt towards herself and her mother. However, as the novel progresses, Audrey and her mother both make great strides in working to communicate with and understand each other, and some of the conversations they have are especially touching and thought-provoking. Their dynamic speaks to the importance of understanding and empathy, offering a lesson in open-mindedness to all readers. 

Overall, The Someday Daughter is a moving and insightful novel that speaks to the power of overcoming self-doubt and finding yourself. 

The Someday Daughter releases on February 20th, 2024.

Pine Reads Review would like to thank SparkPoint Studio, NetGalley, & HarperTeen for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change before final publication.

Sam Parker, Pine Reads Review Writer