printed copy

Lost Daughters

Mary Monroe

ISBN 9780758274724
Publish Date 5/28/2013
Format Hardcover
Categories Fiction, Dafina
Currently out of stock

New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe brings to life her most provocative and daring characters yet in this emotional and sometimes shocking tale of daughters lost and found, and the ways in which the past still haunts them….

After years of living under Mama Ruby’s commanding presence, Maureen Montgomery is finally taking charge of her own life. With her beautiful teenage daughter, Loretta, by her side, she returns to Florida after Mama Ruby’s death and settles into a routine that any other woman would consider bland. But for Maureen and her older brother Virgil, who grew up with Mama Ruby’s hair-trigger temper and murderous ways, bland is good.

But Loretta has other ideas. Set on becoming rich and famous, she convinces Maureen to let her start a modeling career. And Loretta thinks Miami photographer Melvin Ross is just the man to make her a star. But even with Mel by their side, taking Maureen and Loretta’s lives in new directions, they can’t escape Mama Ruby. Neither can Virgil, who’s concealed one of Mama Ruby’s most shocking acts for most of his life…and is now living with the guilt of his deceit.

Yet, as much as Virgil knows, he could never imagine the depth of Mama Ruby’s yearning for her daughter, or how much Maureen wants her own daughter to feel free to live on her own terms. For them, Mama Ruby will never die…and it’s not until Maureen takes on a bit of Mama Ruby’s strength to face down the past and forge new bonds that she’s able to make a future that is truly hers.

“Reminiscent of Zora Neale Hurston, but the story has a bizarre, violent edge a la Stephen King…a candid portrayal of the cold-blooded yet fascinating Mama Ruby.” —Publishers Weekly on The Upper Room

“Magnificent, coarse, funny and terrifying.” —The San Francisco Chronicle on The Upper Room

“Warm, energetic, and charming.” —The Houston Post on The Upper Room

“Monroe’s literary canvas is painted with broad strokes, with verve and humor and passion.” —Christian Science Monitor on The Upper Room

“Mama Ruby fans, this is The Upper Room prequel you’ve been waiting for!” —RT Book Reviews on Mama Ruby

“Monroe’s style, like her characters, is no-holds-barred earthy…. Monroe’s characters deal with their situations with a weary worldliness and fatalism that reveal their vulnerability as well as their flaws.” —Booklist on Mama Ruby

Discussion Questions

1. Maureen felt that she had to do more for Loretta to make up for the child she lost. Do you think that if Maureen had not spoiled Loretta, she would have been a better daughter?

2. Despite the fact that Maureen treated Loretta like a princess, Loretta still stole her husband and enjoyed doing it— especially since Maureen admitted that she didn’t love Mel. Do you think Loretta would have seduced Mel even if Maureen did love him?

3. Do you think that it’s wrong to marry someone for reasons other than love? Should love be at the top of the list of requirements, or do you think that companionship and security— and in Maureen’s case a father for Loretta—are more important than love?

4. Mrs. Freeman kept Jay after her niece had kidnapped him because she didn’t want her niece to go to jail. Do you think that Mrs. Freeman should have notified the authorities that she had Jay after her niece committed suicide?

5. Jay’s biological relatives were thugs and convicted criminals, so he had a much better life with Mrs. Freeman. Did that make up for her role in his kidnapping?

6. When Virgil realized how Maureen felt about Jay’s kidnapping, and the crime of kidnapping in general, he finally decided to come clean and tell Maureen that Mama Ruby had kidnapped her at birth. Do you think that he should have taken this secret to the grave like Mama Ruby did?

7. When Virgil finally told Maureen the truth about her background, did she react the way you thought she would? Did you like the way she reacted, or did you hope she would get hysterical and sever her relationship with Virgil?

8. Do you think that Maureen would have been better off not knowing that she was the victim of a kidnapping?

9. Do you think it was a smart thing for Maureen and Virgil not to tell anyone else about Maureen’s background? Do you think she should have told Jay?

10. When Virgil and Maureen met Big Maureen, Ruby’s biological daughter, was she the kind of woman you thought she would be? Were you glad they decided not to tell her that Mama Ruby had kidnapped another woman’s baby?

11. Do you think it was a good idea for Maureen to cook up that scheme about a Canadian couple and persuade Loretta to give her baby to them? Do you think that Big Maureen was the best choice, or do you think Maureen really should have arranged for some other couple to adopt Loretta’s baby?

12. Were you surprised when Mel dumped Loretta? Were you happy that her career ended and she had to settle for so little? Did you feel sorry for her when she ended up as her worst nightmare: just a housewife sitting on a porch with a cat (in her case, two cats)?

13. Maureen forgave Loretta and they eventually restored their relationship. However, Maureen told Loretta that she would never trust her again. If your daughter stole your husband, do you think you could ever be close to her again? Would you ever trust her again?

14. A lot people in American culture believe that “what goes around, comes around.” Loretta and Mel were so arrogant, greedy, selfish, and deceitful that in the end, those things were their downfall. Do you think they both got what they deserved, or do you think that fate was a little too harsh on them?

15. Do you think that Mel accidentally fell out of his apartment window? If so, how do you think he got those injuries? Who, or what, do you think he was talking to when he asked, “Who the hell are you?” just before he died?

About Mary Monroe:

Mary Monroe, the daughter of sharecroppers, is the author of the award-winning and New York Times bestselling God series that includes God Don’t Like Ugly and God Don’t Make No Mistakes, among other novels. Winner of the AAMBC Maya Angelou Lifetime Achievement Award, the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and the UCAAB J. California Cooper Memorial Award, Mary Monroe currently lives in Oakland, California. She loves to hear from her readers via e-mail at Visit Mary’s website at

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