☀ (banerry) wrote in whatwasthatbook,


Book about a woman with a daughter who takes a young impoverished girl under her wing

I read this one in 2010-2011, I think, and it was probably fairly new at the time. The main character is an upper middle class suburban woman with a preteen daughter. The mother meets a young girl who lives in poverty nearby (I feel like she might have been a distant relative, but I'm not sure), and feeling sorry for her, starts inviting her over a lot to play with her daughter, integrating her into the family and making her feel welcome, etc. The little girl is neglected at home, and she becomes very attached to the woman, even going so far as to call her Mom, which makes the woman feel uncomfortable. As time goes on the girl becomes more and more desperate to become part of the family, the woman realizes more and more that she isn't able to give the girl the amount of care and attention that she needs, and it culminates in the girl trying to kill the woman's daughter so that she can take her place. She tries to drown her, but also ends up falling into the water herself; the woman is only able to save one of them and she chooses her daughter, so the other little girl drowns.

I remember the plot of this book fairly well, I just can't for the life of me remember the title, and Google isn't helping.
Tags: cat: death (natural & unnatural), cat: family, cat: poverty & homelessness, decade: 2010 onwards, genre: fiction, genre: mystery & suspense, genre: thriller
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