When Rosalind Simm’s fifteen-year-old daughter ran away with her teacher, Ros’s ordinary family became something it had never asked to be. Their lives held up to scrutiny in the centre of a major police investigation, the Simms were headline news while Stephanie was missing with a man who was risking everything. After Stephanie came home and Temperley was locked up for his crimes, the Simms – Ros, Stephanie, Dan and Freddy – tried to put the past behind. They never talked about it. They never mentioned Nathan Temperley’s name. They lived their lives as though it had never happened. With her daughter now an adult and away at university, even Ros started to let go of her fears.
Now, six years on, Ros takes a call that will change their lives all over again. He’s going to be released from prison. Years too early. In eleven days’ time. As Temperley’s release races towards them, Ros is forced to confront the events that led them here, back to a place she thought she’d left behind, to questions she didn’t want to answer. Why did she do it? Where does the blame lie? What happens next?
Read if you loved: Notes on a Scandal – Zoe Heller
Eva Holland Biography
Eva Holland was born on an Orkney island and grew up in Gloucestershire.
She studied in Leeds and now lives with her husband in North London where she works in public relations and scientific communications.
A lifelong lover of words and stories, Eva is drawn to tales that explore the darker side of family life and is always curious about what goes on behind closed doors.
The Daughter’s Secret is Eva’s first novel and won the Good Housekeeping debut novel competition in 2014.
Find out more at evaholland.net and follow Eva on Twitter at @HollandEva
Eva Holland on the Inspiration Behind The Daughter’s Secret
Even if you haven’t seen Disney’s Snow Queen-inspired blockbuster Frozen you have probably heard the song Let It Go from the film’s soundtrack. For a few years now it’s been almost impossible to avoid. People seem to love that song with its super-catchy chorus and message about letting our negative feelings and hang ups go. Maybe it’s this message that makes it so popular: we‘re told all the time that we should get over whatever or whoever has upset us, that we should move on, leave the past in the past and find closure. That we should, as the song urges us, let it go.
But what if we can’t?
I’ve never been good at letting things go. My house is full of stones picked up from forgotten holiday beaches, decades’ worth of birthday cards and books I’ll never read again but will never part with. My mind isn’t much better. When I finish a novel I find myself spending days wondering what became of the characters after the author typed ‘The End’. It’s the same with stories I read in newspapers. Whether it’s a family’s comfortable life shattered by a teenage daughter’s mysterious disappearance, a freak accident, or a salacious scandal, the people affected by these events will never, ever be the same again. They will be on the front page for a day, maybe two, then they will fade from view. We’ll forget them, we’ll move on to the next story, the next day’s news. But they won’t forget. They won’t let it go.
How do these people go back to anything approaching normal life? What will happen to them tomorrow, next week, next year, in ten years’ time? These are the questions that sneak up on me in the night.
The Daughter’s Secret is the story of what happens next. Rosalind Simm was a ‘normal’ woman with a husband and two children until her fifteen-year-old daughter’s shocking disappearance with teacher Nathan Temperley propelled the Simms into the public eye. Six years later, Temperley is in prison and the family appears to have moved on and successfully put the events of the past behind them. But when Rosalind discovers that Temperley is about to be released, she is forced to confront the way what happened six years ago has shaped their lives. Did they ever really move on or were they just fooling themselves? Are they strong enough to cope with what happens next? And what about Nathan Temperley? Has he truly let his obsession with Rosalind’s daughter go?