So. Many. Daughters.
If you’re a reader, you’ve definitely noticed the trend in suspense novels where the titles include the word “girl” but the “girl” is actually a woman. Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo… You get it. I have a thing about referring to grown women as girls. You rarely hear an adult man being referred to as a “boy” so calling a grown woman a “girl” is just weird and gross. But I digress.
I recently noticed a similar trend with historical fiction titles and I decided to see how prevalent it really was. And wow. There are so many daughters in historical fiction. So. Many.
I was reminded of this trend when I saw an ad for Kate Morton’s new book, The Clockmaker’s Daughter. There it was again: another daughter.
Publishing companies love clinging to trends like this because a reader might be looking for a different book, search for it, and stumble on another book within the same genre and read it instead. I have to assume these similar titles are a source of confusion and frustration for fans of historical fiction and suspense alike.
Yes, I understand the marketing angle and even the historical accuracy angle too. Many women of the past were limited to being someone’s daughter before they became someone’s wife. Even so, I don’t like being constantly reminded of that fact, even when I’m looking for a new historical novel to devour. I want a book where the hero is her own woman and the star of the show.
Not familiar with this trend? Let me show you.
What do you think? Is this naming trend useful or confusing? Let us know in the comments.
Jillianne Hamilton is the author of Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, its two action/comedy sequels, and The Lazy Historian's Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII. She is also a graphic designer, a history enthusiast, and a dog mom. Learn more.