A REAL DAUGHTER is a psychological horror novel that offers readers a frightening take on step-parenting and a disturbing testament to the dark forces within us all. 

Following her infant daughter's crib death, Claire Carlin reinvents herself in Los Angeles as a landscape gardener. Meanwhile, she imagines the dead daughter alive—marking her birthdays, Christmas, first day of school—as if the child never died. 

Remarrying, Claire acquires an eight-year-old stepdaughter who is about the same age her own daughter would have been. Part vamp, part bossy, brash, and troubled, the stepdaughter turns out to be nothing like the daughter Claire has been holding in her mind. 

The clash between the two daughters—one real, one imagined—threatens to destroy Claire,  releasing demons she's tried to hold at bay. In the end she has to choose between a new life and a haunted past.

A REAL DAUGHTER examines the complicated, often fraught relationship between stepparent and stepchild. In the end, though, the novel explores a more universal landscape—one that encompasses the tensions most of us experience when what we expect is not what we get.

Lynne McKelvey
Award-winning Author of A REAL DAUGHTER (Savant 2017)