Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date: 14th August 2014
How well do you really know those you love?
Jenny loves her three teenage children and her husband, Ted, a celebrated neurosurgeon. She loves the way that, as a family, they always know each other’s problems and don’t keep secrets from each other.
But when her youngest child, fifteen-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play and a nationwide search for her begins, secrets previously kept from Jenny are revealed.
So I’ve read some great family dramas with a mystery twist recently and this one was an excellent and addictive example of why I love these sorts of stories when they are done well.
In “Daughter”, when Naomi fails to return from her school play, her family is thrust into the limelight of a nationwide search and an emotional turmoil that knows no bounds. As the story evolves between the days leading up to Naomi going missing, the immediate aftermath, then a year later, we get a realistic and emotive snapshot of how even in the closest of families, there are secrets kept hidden.
I thought this was marvellously constructed with Ms Shemilt walking the line between illiciting an emotional response and keeping the story flowing along – as the personalities of the players begins to solidify and take shape this is one of those character driven novels that make you feel as if you know the people. You feel the sorrow and the anguish, the hope and the fear and all the emotions inbetween as Jenny searches desperately for the truth whilst trying to help her other children come to terms with their loss and keeping her own head. As the family begins to fracture it is compelling stuff.
The mystery element – what happened to Naomi and why – is also extremely well drawn. By using the timeslip and the character development to tell the tale rather than relying on sudden twists and turns, the reader is kept connected to the story the whole of the way through, immersed into the events and feelings of each moment in time. Once I was halfway through I barely put it down until the ending which was poignant and perfect. A tale that will stay with me for a while.
Overall a brilliant and evocative story which comes highly recommended from me.
Happy Reading Folks!