Cover Image: The Forger's Daughter

The Forger's Daughter

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Member Reviews

Thank you to the author, NetGalley and the publisher for my copy of this novel. I found the history of forgery interesting, and especially the connection to Edgar Allen Poe.  Will and Meghan are book lovers, and many years ago Will was caught as a forger, and an old nemesis attacked him, brutally injuring his hand. Will has since moved to America, and his enemy has returned, telling Will he must reproduce a previously unseen poem by Edgar Allen Poe, which will be worth millions on the market. If Will doesn't do as asked, his past crime will be revealed and he will go to prison. Will does agree, and brings daughter Nicole into the process, as she is a well accomplished printer. I did not know this was a sequel, so many times I didn't understand what the back story was, but I enjoyed the mystery and all the information on printing was fascinating.
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A reformed forger is like a retired race horse who hears the starting gun from a nearby race track and can't help longing for that old excitement. That's what happens to Will, who's made a comfortable life as an artisinal, printer, manuscript authenticator and dealer.  Drawn into a scheme to copy a rare manuscript by Edgar Allen Poe by a man he once counted among his closest colleagues before he betrayed him,  in partnership with a distinguished man who mentored them both, he's unable to resist. Not only that - almost without thinking, he draws his own daughter Nicole, herself a talented printer and copyist, into the plot. It's a deftly told tale, with sympathetic protagonists he reader hopes will get away with their well-executed plan.
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First, let me say that this was written by an excellent, educated author.  I was so impressed with Bradford Morrow and his command of vocabulary. That, alone, was enough to keep me reading when the book got a little slow..  Will was a former illegal forger of important documents, antique books, etc. He has been on the straight and narrow for many years and plans to stay that way. He has a wife and two daughters to care for and protect.

However, a man from his past appears and threatens him with evidence which could get him in a great deal of trouble. He has to do some more illegal forging, this concerning Edgar Allen Poe. I was a fan of Poe for many years, having won a national EAP writing contest.  So this was another reason the book appealed to me.  The author was very informed as to the literary world.
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Former forger, Will, finds himself lured (forced) back into the game when a former colleague gets out of jail and brings him a very rare copy of Tamerlane by Edgar Allen Poe to "copy". With the help of his talented daughter, Will does as asked, but things don't go quite as easily as he expected.

I have not read "The Forger", so that may have tempered my take on this novel. I found it difficult to follow at times since the first person narrative shifts voices from Will to his wife, Meg, and back again frequently and without the usual label or font change to clarify that the narration has changed. This took me out of the story for at least a few sentences each time as I figured out who was speaking. In addition, the use of unusual or rarely used words on nearly every page brings to mind that the author kept an SAT prep book or a thesaurus at hand (example -- hermetic, leitmotif). The verbiage does elicit a certain (almost) Gothic atmosphere to the story, so it is understandable but it is sometimes distracting. I am fairly well-read and educated, but even I had to use the Kindle provided dictionary on a few words. 

All in all, though this is a fairly intriguing mystery with twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. Predictable in places, but surprising in others. I suspect it will be a treat for the fans of the first book. If you are a bibliophile or fascinated by early publishing techniques or simply interested in old/rare books or ephemera, this is a book for you. I admit I'm interested in reading The Forger now to answer some of the questions that occurred to me in this one.
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"The Forger's Daughter" was an enjoyable book.  As a bibliophile, a story about rare books is appealing.  One of the main characters, Will, is a reformed forger, who has turned to creating custom work on an old-fashioned letter press.  His wife, Megan, owns an independent book store which sells antique and rare books, along with more modern offerings.  Their daughter, Nicole, is a gifted artist, especially with calligraphy, a skilled learned from her father. She has also learned about printmaking at the hands of her father and they work together to produce their custom works.  Rounding out the family is their adopted daughter, Maisie, whose mother was Megan's best friend. Their plans for an idyllic end of summer at their country home before returning to New York for work and school are interrupted by a ghost from Will and Megan's past, Henry Slader, a fellow forger who had assaulted Will twenty years ago, costing him several fingers.  Slader knows a potentially life-altering secret about Will and leverages that knowledge to "persuade" Will into creating a forged copy of a rare early work of Edgar Allen Poe.  

The author does a good job of portraying the moral dilemma facing Will, as he feels he has no choice but to create the forgery, and there is a certain allure to attempting to create a perfect forgery, but he has avoided creating forged works for twenty years and he does not want to get Nicole involved in the illegal activity, but he knows he will require her assistance.  There is a good dynamic between father and daughter, especially as they progress with the process of creating the forgery and as Nicole gains a better understanding of what her father has done in the past and what needs to be done now.

While I would not want to unwittingly purchase a forged copy of a book, the art and science behind creating a convincing forgery is fascinating. The author does a great job of portraying what is involved in making a facsimile or forgery of an older work, as well as how easy it is to cross the line between making a facsimile that will be acknowledged as such and making a forged copy for the purpose of deceiving others.

I would definitely recommend this book.

I received a copy of the e-book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
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Very interesting and exciting book!! I loved the way it was written and the characters really jumped out at you! A must read, great storyline.
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I think this is the first time in 60 years of reading that I have finished a book and wondered if I had completely missed the point. The premise is fascinating, and, to the very end, I kept thinking some great surprise would jump out giving me that much treasured insight or "aha" moment. But, while the journey was generally interesting and the interaction between characters somewhat engaging, in the end, nothing ever really happened. It just sat there, annoyingly jumping first person around without warning or clue and churning out the story in news-article-like fashion. I could not count the number of times I had to stop and ask myself which character was speaking in the first person this time. This story has a great promise that, unfortunately, never fully develops. Or, could it be I just completely missed it? I fought over the rating and gave it three stars rather than the two I leaned toward because I did enjoy everything but the disappointing non-ending. Where was the editor on this one?
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I liked the topic of this book and the plot line. However, even though I read the description, I did not realize this book was  a sequel and so it was hard to follow. I think I woukd have enjoyed it more if I'd read the first book, well, first. That aside at times it was a bit slow, but overall I enjoyed reading about the art world and it's darker side. 

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it
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I'm a big fan of counterfeit mysteries. Art, money, artifacts--whatever the heist, doesn't matter, because it will inevitably hold my attention. So after reading the blurb, I couldn't wait to dive into this one.

Will, an ex-literary forger spending the summer in his farm house in the Hudson Valley, finds his routine in upheaval when an old acquaintance accosts his daughter with a parcel and a mission: recreate a copy of a rare Edgar Allan Poe book, Tamarlane, or risk having a secret revealed. He'll need his daughter's help to complete the task, though, and he has to decide if involving her is worth the danger. 

For me, this book started off on a strong note. I loved the incident with the daughter on the road; it set up the potential creep factor perfectly, and I was invested in the mystery man. Will's character has so many traits that should work in his favor: smart, rebellious, plagued by his past yet determined to give his daughters a normal life without the con artist ramifications. I love Poe, so Tamarlane and the history of his writing was also fascinating. 

What fell short of my expectations, however, was twofold. One, the characters felt a bit muddled. They all share similar diction and delivery styles, somewhere on the border of academic and sarcastic. Two, this read more like a dramatic piece than a novel. For all the suspenseful elements, most of the action happens off-camera. Dead bodies, intrigue, past violence--none of it happens in real time while we're reading, rather we're told about it by characters who then analyze the events leading up to and the fallout of whichever action has just occurred. Because of this, the narrative is pretty much divided half and half between deep introspection and elevated dialogue. So while there are several interesting things occurring outside the immediate mystery, we don't see any of it in media res. 

I will say that Bradford's writing reminded me of reading a Poe story. The narrator's had the distinct voice of both being aware they're telling a story but not aware they have an audience. I also appreciated the insight into literary forging. Learning about the stylistic writing differences, ink hues, letters, and other markers authenticators look for was such a cool part of this story. As an upstate New Yorker, I have close ties to the Saratoga region where Poe allegedly edited The Raven, and it's always fun seeing the hometown references. I just wanted more in terms of the mystery.

Overall, The Forger's Daughter is a quiet, reflective mystery focused on transitions and life choices. I'd recommend to fans of Poe or anyone interested in literary forging. 

Big thanks to Mysterious Press and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.
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A fast-paced and satisfying follow up to Morrow's earlier book, The Forgers. If you have an interest in old books, letterpress printing, and/or forgery, few novelists are more adept than Morrow at describing this small, sometimes insular, world.
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Whoops! No clue that this was a sequel. After reading a bunch of shaky summaries of the first book I dove cautiously into this and ended up enjoying it! I love these kinds of stories.
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The forger and his family are the focus of this novel, which dives deeply into the world of literary fakes, particularly an early work of Edgar Allen Poe. It is evocatively written, almost to a fault with flowery descriptions, but is still a good read about the family's antics, their attempts to create this "found" masterwork, and the various family dynamics. The plot is pretty predictable but enjoyable nonetheless, and you if you have a fondness for Poe's stories or the mid-Hudson locale where part of the story takes place, all the better to appreciate the context.
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Thanks to the author, NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for providing me with an advanced reader's copy of The Forger's Daughter in exchange for an honest review. This is a story about good people who make terrible choices for all - well, almost all - the right reasons. Others have sketched out the characters and story. I'll just add that Will and Meg are protecting the people they love, even as their actions inevitably draw danger further into their family. You know things are going to go badly, and the only questions are how and when. That was what kept me happily turning pages, along with the descriptions of book forgeries and Edgar Allen Poe's early unsuccessful career. I didn't know that this novel was a sequel, but I thought Mr. Morrow did a good job of weaving the characters' history into the story. This was the first book I've read by this author, but it won't be the last.
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The Forger’s Daughter learned too well at her father’s knee. I suppose it was only to be expected that the child should surpass the father. Case in point- a reformed forger is drawn back into the business to replicate a rare volume by Edgar Alan Poe. His daughter adds an author’s signature to the piece, unknown to him. And so it goes, the storyline written in the same flowery prose one would expect from ‘vintage’ authors. It’s appropriate and it works. What doesn’t work at least for me was the abrupt change of narrator sometimes mid chapter. But maybe I’m too picky.
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This was one of the most unusual and fascinating novels I’ve read in a long time.  The basic premise was that a reformed forger who is married, a successful dealer in rare books, the father of two daughters, one a preteen and the other finishing college, gets dragged back into making a copy of Poe’s Tamerlane to replace another and that one would be auctioned off.  The man dragging him into this situation had assaulted him years earlier and amputated fingers on his right hand, unfortunately for the assaulter, he was left handed.  The novel goes into the background of the family and the talents of each of them, but, most fascinatingly goes into the details of forging Tamerlane.  It is meticulously researched and brings the reader into a world very few of us have been into before. And it is done very well.  I found these descriptions even more grabbing than the underlying mystery.  Thanks to Net Galley and Mysterious Press for an ARC for an honest review.
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This was ok, but I found I could not finish it.   After a beginning that seemed promising, the story tapered off and I found I really didn't care.
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I have tried three different times to read this book and each time, I have put it down in frustration. I.m not sure if it is the slow pace of the writing or just general dislike, but I cannot finish this book. As much as I love reading about forgers in the art world, this one did not do it for me,
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The Forger's Daughter is a mystery about a likable husband and wife who love books. When something from the past pops up, they keep deep, dark secrets from each other. This suspenseful story told from alternating points of view is a riveting page-turner. Reading details about auction houses, running a bookstore and selling rare books was intriguing. Crisp writing and a fast moving plot. I loved this book and highly recommend it. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I didn’t realise that this was a sequel to another book, and so when I started reading it I was extremely confused. I decided not to finish it at this time, and will come back after I’ve read the first novel. .
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20 years ago Will was a successful infamous forger of antique manuscripts and documents. After losing part of his hand in an attack in Ireland and being found out as a forger, he moved back to the States with his family and walked the line since then. Now someone from his past has resurfaced and blackmails him with a secret that could land him life in prison. They want him to copy a rare and previously unseen first edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s earliest poem, so they can switch them and sell the real booklet in an auction without the actual owner being any the wiser that he’s left with a duplicate. Meg, his wife who doesn’t know about this secret, strongly disagrees with this plot, but his eldest daughter, a skilled artist and printer becomes more and more involved in the illegal work.
Of course, blackmail is never that simple and usually, it doesn’t end once you give in to the blackmailer. And the story doesn’t end here, this is only the start of the family’s problems. There are secrets, theft, and murder in both their future and past.
Will the criminal plan succeed? Will Will’s old secret be found out by his wife, or by the police? Will Meg tell what she witnessed? Lots of questions, that need to be answered in the rest of the book.

This is a pleasant and entertaining story full of suspense with an original plot, but it’s not the discovery of the century. Certainly the first half of the book lacks incoherence. It’s a very chaotic rendering of the family’s history up to the point where the blackmail starts. The whole book is told in the alternating voices of Meg and Will, so sometimes you see the same occurrence told from both their points of view. But their retelling of the past isn’t chronological and I had problems to assess what exactly had happened in their earlier lives and when exactly it did, and what the relationship between the various characters actually was. It takes up a very large part of the book to tell all those previous events. Maybe it would have worked better if they had a short linear coverage of the past and then another part labelled ’20 years later’. As it is now, we don’t know how exactly the forgers fell out or how they were found out. Did he confess and tell about every fraud? Obviously not, as he still comes across them. How come that his only punishment was to refund the money he wrongfully received?
The second part of the book is a lot faster paced and there’s a lot going on as well. It feels almost as if it’s a different book.
The author uses several difficult -and to me hitherto unknown- words and expressions. Not that many, that it interferes with the comfort of reading, most of the time the meaning is clear from the context. But I don’t think that some of them are used very regularly in everyday speech.
At least I learned quite a few interesting things about the world of rare book collectors, calligraphy, and about forgery that goes with it.
I didn’t know at the time but apparently there’s a book called ‘the forgers’ by the same author that tells the story of Will’s forging years.
I thank Grove Atlantic and NetGalley for giving me a free ARC of this book; this is my honest and unbiased review of it.
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