cover image The Unquiet Daughter: A Memoir of Betrayal and Love

The Unquiet Daughter: A Memoir of Betrayal and Love

Danielle Flood. Piscataqua, , $19.95 ISBN 978-1-944393-18-2

Journalist and first-time author Flood’s powerful memoir of her life with a dysfunctional mother and her decades-long search for her biological father is a gripping story of self-doubt and self-discovery. Flood’s parents may seem familiar to readers—a Vietnamese woman, pregnant with a British officer’s baby, who marries an American foreign officer—since their lives were the basis for the main characters in Graham Greene’s novel The Quiet American. For Flood, this book is the “sequel” Greene never wrote, and her story has some compelling moments of its own. After the family moves to America, Flood’s stepfather mysteriously leaves her with her mother, who “thrives on mental fireworks,” begins a career as a burlesque dancer, has numerous affairs, and often leaves the young Flood to fend for herself in a variety of schools in New York City. Flood finds peace of mind while searching for answers about what her mother “did and did not do and what she did and did not tell me,” which leads her happily to discover and reunite with her biological father in England. Flood’s descriptions of her early life are truly heartbreaking: teenage years spent working her way through high school, being abandoned by her mother, and realizing that “to try and understand why Mom had done so many things was pointless.” (Sept.)