The artist’s daughter

There’s something magically delicious about entering a story, when you get lost in the setting, the sights and smells, the delightful word play that sharpens the focus as you imagine the story unfold in your mind. And when that great story can help you live a better story of your own? Even better.

The Artist’s Daughter is Alexandra Kuykendall‘s story of how she grew up a nomad with her single mother in the 80s, traveling between the U.S., Italy, and Spain—and how she first met her Spanish father at eight years old.

From there, she regales personal stories of disappointment and surprise in her father, what it was like to live life in the States while he lived a different one in Europe, and how this significant relationship has affected her up till now, as an adult with a family of her own.

the artist's daughter

Alexandra bravely delights in motherhood and in being a wife, learning how to make friends, live in new locations, and cultivate her gifts—all in the backdrop of being the child of a eccentric Spanish father and a loving American mom.

I love the questions her book poses: Am I lovable? Am I loved? And am I loving?

Her first book is her own story, and it’s a beautifully-told one. Turning the pages means getting permission to travel through France, walk cobblestoned Spanish streets, and set up grown-up lives in Colorado and Oregon. And the end left me delightfully hanging, wanting to know what happened with her father’s will.

Trevi Fountain

This book is a great summer read that’s both a good story and a good thinker. Who defines us? Why do we matter? And what do we choose to do when life is less than ideal?


Ten readers will win a copy of Alex’s book, The Artist’s Daughter! To enter to win, leave any comment on this post. (If you’re reading this via email, please click over to the post to comment.)

The giveaway has now ended. We’ll announce the winners soon!

top photo source
Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. I love your blog and especially your podcast. I’m an avid reader. For my 23rd birthday (on June 23rd), I’m making 23 goals for the year. One of my goals is to read 50 new books and 30 new authors. I would love to include this book in the mix!

  2. Michelle Pic says:

    Sounds like a wonderful read Tsh! Great endorsement that makes me want it NOW! 🙂

  3. Sounds like the PERFECT summer read!!!

  4. I am in serious need of some summer reading! Love this post.

  5. Sounds like my kind of book!

  6. Brenda T. says:

    I’m always looking for good book ideas.

  7. This looks like a fabulous read!

  8. I heart travel memoirs!!

  9. Amy Hall says:

    Looks like a great book! I need a new one.

  10. I’ve been wanting to get this! Would love to win 🙂

  11. Sounds like a wonderful read. Added it to my list of books to read.

  12. Added this to my wish list since my birthday is coming up.

  13. Sounds like a wonderful summer read! Just from the description, I’m recommending to a few friends. Thanks!

  14. This sounds fantastic and thought-provoking. I also had a largely absent father and although I grew up in the same town MY ENTIRE LIFE, I always wished I had an exotic father on the other side of the world and a mother who would whisk me on grand adventures. I’m guessing this book proves that the grass isn’t always greener, it’s all in your fertilizer! 🙂
    Thanks so much for the opportunity!

  15. I’d love to read this!

  16. Sounds like a great read. We’ve spent a lot of time in Narnia lately, I would love to venture into Italy and Spain.

  17. Alex Gardner says:

    This books sounds wonderful- I would love to read it!

  18. Looks really interesting, and I look forward to reading it.

  19. Mary Beth says:

    This book sounds good. I usually don’t read non-fiction but I’d like to read this.

  20. Can’t wait to read this!

  21. Hello! This book sounds amazing.. All the questions you said the book tackles are the same questions I am struggling with on a daily basis. I would love to get a new perspective… I have found that others’ stories and testimonies are not solely for helping to save lives, but to refresh, correct, and help heal others. 🙂
    Have a wonderful, wonderful day!

  22. Thank you for the opportunity to read what sounds like a great book. God Bless!

  23. I love getting lost in a good story!

  24. Ooh I would love to read this!!!! 🙂

  25. Sounds like a great story! I was just about to add it to my Amazon wish list, when I realized that it was a give away. Either way, think I need to check it out. I love many of the books you have recommended, Tsh. Thanks!

  26. Sounds like a wonderful book!

  27. Christie says:

    Sounds like a great book!

  28. This is now on my “Summer Reading List”!

  29. Sounds wonderful~ I’d love to read it!

  30. Would love this book for my summer read Pleas

  31. This is the MOPS theme book for the upcoming season! Can’t wait to read!

  32. i love learning about great books!

  33. marilyn says:

    sounds like a fabulous book!

  34. What an interesting life story!

  35. Elizabeth says:

    I would so enjoy receiving this! I NEED a good read this summer. Love the work you do here, it is something special.

  36. Amanda G says:

    I’ve been looking for my next read, and it appears I have found it!

  37. Virginia says:

    Wow! This sounds like something I really need right now.

  38. I always need a new book to read!

  39. Rebecca says:

    I just discovered in the last 24 months that memoirs are my favorite genre to read. I’m always on the lookout for another one to add to my list so thank you for sharing even if I don’t win the giveaway!
    Happy Summer Reading!

  40. Loved the MOPS theme for this year, Beautiful Mess! Love that they have books like these supporting the theme. Hope to read this!

  41. Sounds like a great summer read!

  42. Jessica Y says:

    This sounds like an excellent read!

  43. Looks great-I’d love to win!

  44. This sounds like a lovely book and something that is outside of my usual pick.

  45. Melissa Q says:

    A summer read… this looks like more than just a story, but a life story. Really hoping I’ll win!

  46. The book looks like a perfect summer read. Thanks for the chance to win.

  47. Linda R. says:

    Sounds like a wonderful summer read! I always love hearing your book recommendations.

  48. Christine JAcobsen says:

    Looks like a great read!

  49. Katie Mann says:

    I would love to read this!

  50. Sounds like a GREAT read! Thanks for the opportunity! Fingers crossed!

  51. I love a book that transports and gets you thinking. Looking forward to reading it!

  52. What a great story! I would love to read it.

  53. Laurie F says:

    Looks like a good summer read. Hope I win a book!

  54. Memoirs are my fav!

  55. I would love a copy of the book.

  56. I would LOVE to win a copy of this book. It’s on my list!

  57. Would love to read this!

  58. Can’t wait to lay my hands on the book…sounds like just I need to read right now!

  59. This sounds like a fabulous read. Would love to enjoy this book!

  60. jenlarson says:

    That books sounds great!! Thanks for sharing!

  61. I usually read young adult books to keep up with (and occasionally get ahead of…) my middle school students. This sounds like a great grown-up read for the summer!

  62. Marilyn says:

    Thanks for the giveaway, Tsh. I immediately clicked over to my library site to see if I could request it, but it’s not there, yet. The book sounds intriguing. I’d love to win it.

  63. sounds interesting!

  64. I would love to win this book!

  65. I’m always looking to add to my summer reading list. Thank you for the review and for the chance to win a copy. I look forward to reading The Artists Daughter.

  66. Sounds like a winner! I would love to revisit the streets of Spain, Italy, and France this summer 🙂

  67. It sounds like a inspiring story. I would love to read this book.

  68. Sounds like a great summer read!

  69. Would love to win the book!

  70. Lisa P. says:

    Sounds like a beautiful book!

  71. kathy w says:

    Sounds like a great read.

  72. This sounds great! I’m adding it to my (already long) summer reading list. Is June halfway over already?!

  73. candace says:

    I’m in need of a good read

  74. Lindsey G says:

    Sounds like a great read!

  75. Celeste says:

    Sounds like a fun read for summer.

  76. Your description of this book is lovely. It sounds quite interesting.

  77. Margaret Petry says:

    I would love to win! Memoirs and autobiography are one of my favorite genres. This sounds great!

  78. This looks fantastic. I love memoirs. I finished The Lost Husband and The Paris Wife as per your recommendation and would highly encourage people to read them both! I loved them!

  79. I’m writing a memoir too. Would love to read it!

  80. rebecca says:

    Sounds like a great summer read!

  81. This book looks so interesting! I would love to win and read it! Winning would be cool, but I think this is definitely one to put on my reading list. Thanks for sharing about it.

  82. I’d love to win. Thanks for the giveaway!

  83. Sounds like one I’d love to read.

  84. Sounds like a great Summer book. Keeping my fingers crossed to win!

  85. sounds super interesting — thanks for the review and a chance to have a copy of my own. katharine.

  86. i love memoir and this looks fabulous!

  87. Amy Kim says:

    The book sounds really good – I’d love to read it!

  88. Deanna Perry says:

    I would love to win a copy of this book! I read it in 3 days. It’s such a wonderful story that I think really articulates the insecurities of any daughter with an absent father. I can’t wait to pass it around to all the gals I know who were raised by their moms. 🙂

  89. I hadn’t heard of this book until now. Sounds like a great read…I hope to win.

  90. Chelsea Dudley says:

    She sounds fascinating! I’d love to win a copy!

  91. Jennifer O says:

    This book sounds like such an amazing book- a perfect summer read!

  92. Sounds inspiring and empowering. I would love to read a real life story especially as it visits and travels to many different locations. This is just what my imagination needs to connect even deeper to my soul :))

  93. I’d love to win a copy. Thanks for the chance!!

  94. Thanks for the book recommendation. It would be fun to win a copy, lovely to read. Peace!

  95. I’m obsessed with memoirs right now. This one sounds great!

  96. Beth Rudolf says:

    I’d like to read this book. It sounds fascinating.

  97. i would really enjoy this book- thanks!

  98. vanessa says:

    I will definitely be checking out this book. Sounds really good.

  99. I’m intrigued. Put my name in the mix. 🙂

  100. This sounds like a good read! I had seen the book before but had thought it fiction, learning that its not is much more intriguing!