Monday, January 18, 2010

Does Not Signify: Born a Coal Miner's Daughter

A lot of people put The Memory Keeper's Daughter on hold. We have several copies, so I end up shelving this book a couple times a week. I've never read the back, so I don't know what it's about. I think the daughter might drown in it, because the cover features a desaturated, floating dress that's kind of glowy, like in movies where people drown and it's supposed to be symbolic of being overcome by whatever.
Another book that's checked out a lot is The Wizard's Daughter. Again, haven't read the back, but I assume it's about a wizard's daughter whose father forbids her to see her true love, who is a Muggle. But she's rebellious and goes to see the Sea Witch, who turns her into a mute Muggle for three day, so then it's up to the wizard's daughter to make her Muggle fall in love with her before the sun sets on the third day. Seems a little derivative.

Also popular is a book called The Beekeeper's Daughter. It's a Harlequin Superromance novel and I can only guess that it takes place in the same reality as The Memory Keeper's Daughter.
I've kind of rolled my eyes at this trend because I consider it a lazy way to title a book. It's basically a fill-in-the-blank title: The [Unconventional Occupation]'s Daughter. All the author needs to do is come up with an unconventional occupation and then input a spirited young daughter who grew up knowing she and her family were a little different from everyone else. And when the time comes for her to learn her father's trade, she must choose between carrying on the family traditions and love, I'm guessing.

Anyway, I've rolled my eyes at the trend, but mostly ignored it until I saw a copy of The Gravedigger's Daughter. And for some reason, maybe because I could tell that the girl will grow up to be preternaturally aware of the dead, meaning she'll be a lot deeper than her peers, and because even the title is trying so hard for depth, that I came to a decision: all publishers should place a moratorium on The [Unconventional Occupation]'s Daughter.

It's a trope that's been repeated so often that it doesn't even mean anything anymore.

3 comments:

Amanda said...

I thought Memory Keepers Daughter sucked. I was one of those that put it on hold at the library.

Tereza Crump aka MyTreasuredCreations said...

oh, my gosh you are funny!! Please forgive my English, I am a foreigner. I found your Etsy shop then your blog... it's a good read!!! I would say better than the books whose cover you judge. :) anyway... thanks for the laughs.

Coral said...

Seriously, what is up with the trend? Although I must say, my favorite book to read to my daughter is The Wedding Planner's Daughter (no joke...but I think it is the trend setter!).