Friday 13 February 2015

"Daughter" by Jane Shemilt *****

About the Author
While working as a GP, Jane Shemilt completed a postgraduate diploma in Creative Writing at Bristol University and went on to study for the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa, gaining both with distinction. She was shortlisted for the Janklow and Nesbit award and the Lucy Cavendish fiction prize for Daughter, which is her first novel.
She and her husband, a Professor of Neurosurgery, have five children and live in Bristol.

When a teenage girl goes missing her mother discovers she doesn't know her daughter as well as she thought in Jane Shemilt's haunting debut novel, Daughter.

This is Jane Shemilt’s debut novel and I must admit I do love a thriller and get quite apprehensive reading them sometimes!. My Son read this before Christmas 2014 and kept on at me to read it as we like to talk to each other about the books we have read! So I did as I was told and started reading it.

What I loved about it is that the Mum (Jenny) is a GP and the Dad (Ted) is a Neurosurgeon. Having worked in a hospital for a while and now in a GP surgery for many years I understood the terminology so therefore found it even more interesting! I also loved that it was mainly set in my beloved Dorset, especially Burton Bradstock, where I love to visit every year!

The characters are all very believable and the author describes them very well. Without giving the game away some are more likeable than others!!

Briefly the story is about a family whose daughter disappears and the effects the disappearance and aftermath have on each of them. The chapters flip back to the day she disappeared and a year later. It is very cleverly done and as the chapters are quite short, I kept reading “one more chapter”!
Naomi (daughter) is a very believable and “normal” teenage girl who has secrets from her Mum and it’s not until she disappears and her Mum (Jenny) finds her diary that she starts realising the extent of the secrets.
Jenny finally realises that she doesn’t really know any of her children as well as she thought she did, or her husband come to that!!

The ending is fabulous and keeps you guessing literally until the very last page! Also the ending (without giving too much away) left me with a few questions and it wasn’t until I digested the ending that I thought it was brilliantly clever and fantastically written.

Utterly compelling novel and really can’t wait for her next one, totally worth the 5 stars!


  1. Sounds fab Julie might have to borrow it!

  2. Got my own copy through the Ninja Book Swap & so glad as its a keeper.
    I really enjoyed this book as it kept me guessing all the way. What a well written book, I look forward to book 2 from Jane Shemilt