printed copy

The Daughter She Used To Be

Rosalind Noonan

ISBN 9780758241689
Publish Date 10/25/2011
Format Trade Paperback
Categories Women's Fiction, Kensington
List Price: $15.00

Other Editions


In this emotionally charged and riveting novel from the author of One September Morning and In a Heartbeat, one woman is torn between loyalty to her family's ways and to her most profound convictions…

The daughter of a career cop, Bernadette Sullivan grew up with blue uniforms hanging in the laundry room and cops laughing around the dinner table. Her brothers joined New York's finest, her sister married a cop, and Bernie is an assistant District Attorney. Collaring criminals, putting them away--it's what they do. And though lately Bernie feels a growing desire for a family of her own, she's never questioned her choices. Then a shooter targets a local coffee shop, and tragedy strikes the Sullivan family.

Anger follows grief--and Bernie realizes that her father's idea of retribution is very different from her own. All her life, she's inhabited a clear-cut world of right and wrong, of morality and corruption. As Bernie struggles to protect the people she loves, she must also decide what it means to see justice served. And in her darkest hour, she will find out just what it means to be her father's daughter.

Praise for Rosalind Noonan's One September Morning

"Reminiscent of Jodi Picoult's kind of's a keeper!" --Lisa Jackson, New York Times bestselling author

"Written with great insight… Noonan delivers a fast-paced, character-driven tale with a touch of mystery." -- Publishers Weekly

"Noonan creates a unique thriller…a novel that focuses on the toll war takes on returning soldiers and civilians whose loved ones won't be coming home." --Booklist

Questions for Discussion

1. At the beginning of the book, Bernie mentioned how she used to enjoy mashed potatoes, but her taste for them had faded. Do you think it’s really potatoes she doesn’t like, or is she thinking of something else that has lost luster in her life?

2. Were you surprised that, in a family that valued police work, Bernadette and her sisters did not become cops? What barriers, both inside and outside their family, stood in their way?

3. Do you think Sully was a good father to his children? What would you say was his major flaw as a parent? What was his major strength?

4. What do you think motivated Tony Marino to destroy Peyton Curtis’s walking stick?

5. Sometimes children or people with dementia speak without the filtering system that keeps the rest of society from voicing their thoughts. Did you think Granny Mary was lucid when she told Mary Kate that her husband Tony Marino should have been killed instead of Brendan?

6. Was Yvonne Curtis wrong to help her son? What would you have done in her position?

7. Was Bernie correct in thinking that her brother Brendan was against the death penalty? How do you think most cops feel about capital punishment?

8. When Bernie took up the cause to defend her brother’s suspected killer, she knew her decision would not be well-received by her family. Who would have been harmed if she’d stepped away from Peyton Curtis’s case?

9. Why did Peyton Curtis want to return to prison at the beginning of the novel? If he hadn’t walked into Sully’s Coffee Shop that day, what do you think his future would have entailed?

10. Why was it important to Curtis that Bernie know that Tony Marino was responsible for his rampage? Would you say that Peyton Curtis is victim or prey?

11. What is the significance of the final scene occurring on Easter Sunday?

12. Discuss the themes of redemption and transformation as they relate to the novel.

About Rosalind Noonan:

Rosalind Noonan is a New York Times bestselling fiction author and graduate of Wagner College. She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest, where she writes in the shade of some towering two-hundred-year-old Douglas fir trees. Please visit her online at

Photo Credit: Sondra Myers

Average Customer Review

Based on 2 reviews

Customer Review

(Monday, December 5, 2011)
Reviewer: Nancy Narma

Ms. Noonan has truly woven a spellbinding tale of family loyalty, suspense, and romance. We follow Bernadette (named for St. Bernadette) “Bernie” Sullivan, youngest daughter of legendary/retired police officer James “Sully” Sullivan, who is the Patriarch of this strong Irish/Catholic family of five, with two sons who are also members of the NYPD and Bernie joining the ranks as Assistant District Attorney. You will be introduced to Peg, Sully’s strong-willed “Better-Half” as well as Matriarch of the Sullivan Clan, Sully’s befuddled Mother, Mary; who may bring out a chuckle and remind you of a loved one, “Brothers in Blue”, James and Brendan , their wives and children, and Bernie’s Sisters, “Devoted but the Woman Scorned” Mary Kate, and the “ black sheep of the family”, Lucy. You will definitely grit your teeth and boo/hiss Bernie’s arrogant, over-bearing Brother-in-Law, Tony Marino. When Peyton Curtis; a newly-released inmate from Lakeview Shock Prison, marches into Sully’s coffee shop, “Sully’s Cup” and opens fire on who he believes is responsible for the injustices he has endured, tragedy strikes the Sullivan family. A mixture of anger and grief tinged with revenge rears its ugly head. As much as Bernie loves her family, she decides, for better or worse, that she must follow her own conscience and pursue what she believes as just and right. But, what effect could her decisions have on her relationship with her beloved confidante, sounding board, and lover “Keesh”? She knew she had found her soul mate back in their college days and prayed that nothing would ever make them drift apart. Prior to the shooting, their parents’ opinions had been making any hope of a future together an impossibility. To complicate matters further, Bernie is being reminded that her biological clock is ticking every time she turns around. Ms. Noonan tackles difficult topics such as capital punishment, abortion and infidelity with tact and grace. This is the second book within a few months that has brought me to tears. The emotions that erupt in these pages will keep you wanting more, more, more! I, for one, am hoping that it won’t be long before we have another of Ms. Noonan’s volumes to enjoy. In the interim, Don’t miss this one!!
Nancy Narma

Loved, loved, loved this novel! (Thursday, October 20, 2011)
Reviewer: Toni S.

I was completely blown away from this amazing story by Rosalind Noonan. She captivated me from the beginning and kept me enthralled throughout the whole novel. I kept wanting to peek ahead to see what would happen next. This is storytelling at its very best!!

You would think that this story revolves around the daughter Bernadette “Bernie” Sullivan. In reality, I feel it revolves around every single member of the Sullivan family and even a few of the extended cast. Yes, Bernie held the limelight a bit more and it was her driving desire for honorable justice that propelled the storyline, but it was the whole cast of characters that made this story as strong as it is.

The Sullivan’s are a family of crime fighters. Either you are a cop, married to a cop or involved in the law. This is all they know. When tragedy hits close to home, their views and family ties are tested. Can this Irish Catholic family survive?

The book is separated into three parts; the buildup, the aftermath, and then finally the consequences. With each chapter I could feel the suspense growing. I could almost feel it in the air while I was reading. I had the expectation that something big was going to crash down on me and then I was still totally taken by surprise when it did. I was absolutely floored and my heart was broken.

During the aftermath I was still reeling from the tragedy and desperately trying to grasp and cope with my feelings. I felt all the emotions that every single character was feeling. Ms. Noonan did a superb job with her writing skills to make me feel my emotions so overwhelmingly.

The consequences were just as well written. Depending on how you felt about the issues that were being written about, I can see every reader feeling differently about this part of the story. There are a few highly controversial ideas and views brought up. I enjoyed how they were written, without feeling preachy.

It’s been a long time since I have had so many emotions ripped out of me; so many highs and so many lows. This was a journey of the soul. A deep look into oneself to discover what you are really made of. I highly recommend this book. While it is an emotional read it is extremely thought provoking and very well written. Be prepared for the emotional roller coaster. I laughed, wept, and even got angry. Along the way I learned a few things about myself and I’m a better person for it. This is an outstanding story!

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