Book Review: Daughter, by Jane Shemilt

Available in bookstores nationwide.

While working as a GP, Jane Shemilt completed a postgrcv_daughteraduate diploma in creative writing at Bristol University. She then went on to study for a MA in creative writing. She was shortlisted for the Janklow & Nesbit Bath Spa prize and the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize for Daughter, which is her first novel. She lives in Bristol with her husband and five children.

Jenny is a GP, her Ted husband a Neurologist at Bristol Hospital – both working long hours. They have three teenage children, twin sons Ed and Theo and a daughter Naomi. They are a busy family with everybody going in different directions each day. Jenny and Ted, like most parents of teenagers feel that they “know their children,” despite the fact they are moody and secretive. What secrets are they hiding?

Daughter, Naomi, has a role in the school play with rehearsals after school each day. As opening night gets closer the moodiness and slyness seems to intensify. When Naomi doesn’t come home one night, her movements and her life are in question. Nobody seems to know where she might be, and those that do, aren’t telling. Jenny can’t understand where as parents, she and Ted have gone wrong. “She used to tell me everything.” The police are informed. Everyone is questioned, their movements verified. Jenny and Ted’s marriage unravels. Jenny shifts to the family holiday cottage in Dorset with Ted staying in the family home. Trying to trace Naomi’s movements after her disappearance, the secrets start to unravel.

What the reader learns is any parent’s worst nightmare.

This is a good easy read – I thoroughly enjoyed it. This would make a great present for that “difficult” person to buy for or as a treat for yourself. As a lover of thrillers my taste buds were well satisfied.

Reviewed by Christine Frayling

by Jane Shemilt
Published by Penguin Books
ISBN 9781405916516