Somewhere in some thread I described my issue with stories that start in 'story future'. For me, the first moment in the story is the "now" for the story, and I want to be primarily on a line that travels forward from that "now". I can tolerate the occasional flashback or flash forward, but I will always be waiting to "get back", always distracted. So a story that starts with something ahead of the event of the story will have me impatient through the entire book. The fact that that start is in a prologue doesn't help. This problem completely ruined one of Laurie King's books for me, and I really like Laurie King. It also kept me from finishing the sequel to Flood. I don't know if there are a lot of readers like me, or not. Re the question of the daughter dying: I would be very annoyed. I should make it very clear that this is in part because I don't like mothers. No doubt because I didn't like mine. I know many quite good mothers, but my mind still insists that each and every one of them is an exception. So to me, the important person here is the daughter, not the mothers. I would wait for the moment when all the mother clutter would be swept away and we'd finally deal with the daughter. And then you kill her. I would be very annoyed. My regarding the mothers as "clutter" is about my issue with mothers. But all the same, I feel that when a human being is the focus of all of the characters of the story, but that human being is not given her own arc or her own place as a primary character, that's an issue. It would be different if the whole story were about, oh, the Hope Diamond or the Maltese Falcon. But it's about a person, so the person should be thoroughly a person. Without that, it feels a little bit like those stories that are "about" women, but they're really about the men fighting about the woman. I realize that I can't declare sexism, because it's all about women. But maybe I'm feeling some sort of mother/daughter version of sexism--a reaction to the fact that society worships mothers, and is rather offhand about daughters. Edited to add: I remember reading about the show ThirtySomething, about how the writers had an endless detailed biography for Michael. For Hope, they had, "Hope is married to Michael." That's rather the way I think I'd feel about the daughter.