Book Review: Darling Girl by Liz Michalski


Title: Darling Girl

By: Liz Michalski

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 352

Release Date: May 3rd, 2022

Publisher: Dutton

Rating: ★★★★☆


Summary from Goodreads:

In this beautiful, grounded, and darkly magical modern-day reimagining of J. M. Barrie's classic, to save her daughter's life one woman must take on the infamous Peter Pan--who is not the innocent adventurer the fairy tales make him out to be . . .

Life is looking up for Holly Darling, granddaughter of Wendy--yes, that Wendy. She's running a successful skincare company; her son, Jack, is happy and healthy; and the tragedy of her past is well behind her . . . until she gets a call that her daughter, Eden, who has been in a coma for nearly a decade, has gone missing from the estate where she's been long tucked away. And, worst of all, Holly knows who must be responsible: Peter Pan, who is not only very real, but more dangerous than anyone could imagine.

Eden's disappearance is a disaster for more reasons than one. She has a rare condition that causes her to age rapidly--ironic, considering her father is the boy who will never grow up--which also makes her blood incredibly valuable. It's a secret that Holly is desperate to protect, especially from Eden's half-brother, Jack, who knows nothing about his sister or the crucial role she plays in his life. Holly has no one to turn to--her mother is the only other person in the world who knows that Peter is more than a story, but she refuses to accept that he is not the hero she's always imagined. Desperate, Holly enlists the help of Christopher Cooke, a notorious ex-soldier, in the hopes of rescuing Eden before it's too late . . . or she may lose both her children.

Darling Girl brings all the magic of the classic Peter Pan story to the present, while also exploring the dark underpinnings of fairy tales, grief, aging, sacrifice, motherhood, and just how far we will go to protect those we love.


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I actually liked this retelling of Peter Pan, even though there have been some mixed reviews across the board. This is not a normal Neverland story. This one is set more in the real world, but still has some magical elements.

Did I find it odd that the author turned Peter Pan into a creepy rapist, yes, but did she tell the story well, yes. Liz Michalski has a wonderful writing voice, so I can only imagine the hate this book has gotten was from the story itself and the adult content that's intertwined.

I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone, but if you are not faint of heart, give it a go.

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