top of page

The Narcissist’s Daughter by Craig Holden

Craig Holden is the author of several novels including The River Sorrow, The Last Sanctuary, Four Corners of Night, The Jazz Bird and this book, The Narcissist’s Daughter. He has also received Great Lakes Book Award in Fiction. His books have been translated into a dozen languages. He has taught at the Universities of Michigan, Toledo, and New Mexico State.


In The Narcissist’s Daughter, he expands his vision of a dark but lyrical America. This is his most accomplished and controversial work to date.


The Blurb


Meet Syd Redding, a gruff, ambitious working-class young man and pre-med student. Syd passes the stultifying hours of 1978 in his ethics class fantasizing about the destruction of the Kesslers, his boss's well-to-do Ohio family, a threesome "moneyed and beautiful and installed high in the city's society".


As he steps onto the doorstep of their grand mansion in the estate section of their city, Syd has no detailed plan in mind, only vague, delicious dreams of vengeance. But when he meets the boss's daughter, he soon finds himself caught in the sexual machinations of this magnetic family. A simple affair leads from obsession through rage to a revenge plot that will transform the lives of everyone involved.

The Review


It is a drama about the collision between two families, both riddled with desires but from opposite sides of the tracks. The Kesslers appear to have it all: Dr. Ted Kessler is a decorated military veteran who now runs the lab at a large medical centre. He lives with his wife, Joyce and their daughter, Jessi, in a beautiful house in the estate section of an Ohio city in the 1970s. Ted is widely respected as a clinician, researcher, manager, and businessman. However, when he resolves to mentor an ambitious working-class student, this idyllic little world is threatened.


Syd Redding is the gruff, streetwise narrator of The Narcissist’s Daughter. He has no plan in mind for the Kesslers. He is a bored pre-med student with few prospects. He has a failure for a stepfather, and a sister who seems to be following his example. Soon after he meets Kessler’s wife and daughter, he finds himself ensnared in the secret machinations of this magnetic family that is on the brink of unravelling.


The Narcissist’s Daughter is a readable story full of suspense. It is about a simple affair that blossoms into obsession, exploitation, and finally, a passion for revenge that threatens to ruin the lives of everyone involved. I found this book fascinating and gripping. I highly recommend it and will look out for more of Craig Holden’s work.

The Author


Craig Holden is the author of the novels The River Sorrow, The Last Sanctuary, Four Corners of Night, The Jazz Bird, The Narcissist's Daughter, and the forthcoming Matala. He is a recipient of the Great Lakes Book Award in Fiction, and was a featured guest at the Festival International du Roman Noir in Frontignan, France. His books have been translated into a dozen languages. He has taught at the Universities of Michigan and Toledo, and is currently the visiting writer at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, where he, his wife, four kids and two dogs, have settled at the edge of the high desert.



Comentários


bottom of page