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Jill Taratunio
Jamaica Plain Gazette

Jamaica Plain resident Randy Susan Meyers’ first novel, released this month by St. Martin’s Press, was inspired by a horrific event in her own childhood and colored by years of work in human services.

“The Murderer’s Daughters” tells the story of two courageous sisters and their journey to rise above the damage of family violence.

The first chapter of the book recounts an event in Meyers’ childhood through the lens of one of the main characters. When Meyers was 4 years old, she said in a recent interview, her mother warned her 8-year-old sister not to let her father into their apartment. Her sister let him in, and he tried to kill their mother. The police arrived shortly after; the girls’ mother survived.

The novel explores what could have happened if the father had succeeded in killing the mother. “The Murderer’s Daughters” follows Lulu and Merry Zachariah after the murder of their mother and the imprisonment of their father.

The book has been greeted with rave reviews. For example, Book of the Month Club called the novel, “A riveting debut.”