Richard and Judy Review: Daughter – Jane Shemilt

Richard and Judy Review: Daughter – Jane Shemilt

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Book Title

“The book’s chapters alternate between the days just before Naomi disappears and the days, weeks and months which stretch ahead after her disappearance. Has she run away, or is she the victim of a sadistic stalker?”

Richard’s review

Naomi won’t confide in her mother any more. She’s starring in her school’s Christmas play, showing precocious talent as an actress. But when Jenny thinks her daughter’s at rehearsals, what is she really doing?

One horrible and life-shattering night, Jenny begins to find out. This is a must-read for every mother of a teenage girl.

This debut novel strikes at the heart of every parent’s nightmare. Just before Christmas, Naomi fails to come home from the school play.

The book’s chapters alternate between the days just before Naomi disappears and the days, weeks and months which stretch ahead after her disappearance. Has she run away, or is she the victim of a sadistic stalker?

The girl’s total disappearance causes her family to fracture. Both parents are unfaithful and hidden resentments break painfully into the open as the Malcolms try to survive. Jenny retreats to a cottage in Dorset where she does little but paint, a time-consuming obsession which, she finds to her astonishment, is hugely resented by her children.

The eventual breakthrough in the quest to find what has happened to Naomi is fast-moving and, ultimately, devastating. And yet nothing, right until the end, is as it seems.

his book will fascinate and alarm parents of teenage kids who think they are doing their best for their children; and who ask themselves the question: how well do I really know them?

“Jenny is a very busy woman but is sure she’s always there for her kids; cooking meals and attending all their school fixtures; she knows them inside out.”

Judy’s review

How well do you know your teenage daughter? Jenny Malcolm, an intelligent GP with a busy practice in Bristol, is convinced she knows her 16-year-old, Naomi, very well. In fact, she congratulates herself on being an excellent mother to Naomi and her twin brothers, 17-year-old Ed and Theo.

Jenny is a very busy woman but is sure she’s always there for her kids; cooking meals and attending all their school fixtures; she knows them inside out.

Or does she? Jenny’s husband, Ted, is a prominent neuro-surgeon at the local hospital. So, we have a very successful achieving couple, with a lovely big house.

Jenny’s a bit resentful of Ted. Like her, he works hard but Jenny feels she’s the parent with the most domestic responsibility. He’s always at the hospital, doesn’t have much to do with his own children, and leaves it all to Jenny. Or so she thinks.

Naomi, an attractive, dreamy girl, is rapidly turning into a young woman, aware of her sexual allure. Jenny turns a blind eye to the changes in her daughter, who would now rather listen to music on her ipod than to her mother. One day, just before Christmas, Naomi brings home a new pair of shoes.

Black, very high heels, with straps of leather binding her feet and wrapping tightly round her slim legs; they looked wrong on her. She usually wore pumps in coloured leather or converses.’

Press reviews

Here are a selection of the reviews for Daughter

“Complex and baffling. Jane Shemilt builds layer upon layer of tension in a novel you won’t be able to put down”

Tess Gerritsen

“Ostensibly a suspense novel about the disappearance of a teenage girl, this taut and thought-provoking debut novel explores a working mother’s guilt, something all-too familiar to many of us”

Woman & Home

“Utterly gripping. A tautly coiled spring of suspicion and suspense which builds to a devastating ending”

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