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Daughter Paperback – 28 Aug 2014

1,106 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (28 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405915293
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405915298
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

We absolutely loved this book. It's about a GP and her family and the sudden horror that devastates their lives when their 16-year-old daughter disappears one night. It's difficult to believe that this accomplished book is a debut (Judy Finnigan, Richard and Judy book club)

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)

Thrilling, yet written with depth and subtlety, and tender insight into parental love (Tessa Hadley)

Complex and baffling. Jane Shemilt builds layer upon layer of tension in a novel you won't be able to put down (TESS GERRITSEN)

Gripping to the last page! (My Weekly)

Thrilling (Sunday Express)

Clever (Sun)

Taut and thought-provoking (Sunday Mirror)

Utterly gripping. A tautly coiled spring of suspicion and suspense which builds to a devastating ending (Mail On Sunday)

A wonderful plot, full of tantalising reasons to read on, and of course with a killer twist at the end. What impressed me most was (. . .) the impossibility of truly knowing those closest to us, the pressures of parenthood - in particular working motherhood, and the terrible loss at the heart of all parenting: they grow up and away (Christopher Wakling, author of What I Did)

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.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Joey VINE VOICE on 11 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had really high hopes for this novel. The first half was terrific, the scene was set at a good pace and sufficient questions left unanswered in order to hold my interest, however, at exactly the 50% mark it began to drag and I ended up skim reading.

Jenny is a GP, her husband Ted is a neurologist. They have 3 adolescent children, two sons and one daughter. One night, daughter Naomi does not return home and the novel follows what how this fractures the rest of the family and the secrets they hold.

The real disappointment for me was that there is no actual reason given for Naomi's disappearance, there was no real detail around Naomi's relationship with her mother, which I presume was to keep the reader guessing whether she was abducted or a runaway. There were lengthy descriptions of Jenny painting which got to bore the socks off me which could have been better put to going into family dynamics in my opinion.

I'll read the author's next book as like I said, the first half was really good and shows promise.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Janey Howell on 14 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback
couldn't get into it and finally really didnt care enough about the characters. I kept trying to be involved but the characters finally annoyed me so much I left the book in a coffee shop for someone else to try their best with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 29 May 2015
Format: Paperback
Argh, I have just finished this book, and I agree with other reviewers that it is a book of two parts. For the first half I was carried along, trying to puzzle out the intentions, the reactions, the clues. But the second half, and specifically the ending frustrated me.

I found myself wanting to give the mother a good shake. We get these things she's thinking but doesn't say to her kids when it seems they need a good kick up the proverbial. She just takes all the resentment, while the father who also works long hours, seems to have none.

**Spoilers**
But the main thing that frustrated me was the daughter's rationale for her actions. Sure, she could be charmed by an older man, but the ending?? Really? That is an acute form of punishment for her family and beyond her mother working hard, seems out of proportion. By all accounts the mother cooked meals, made breakfast, they had family holidays. For Naomi to make that decision seems strange.

Undecided if I'd read another of the author's books. I do like lyrical prose, though not sure where all the seeds and buds painting descriptions took us. Maybe the frustration will fade in time :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Holly Manktelow on 10 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book to an extent, but I found the language necessarily flowery. Some of the future chapters were solely pointless flowery description, which I personally do not like as a style.
I was really disappointed with the ending, It did not explain at all why she hated her mother so much. Even if Naomi wasn't going to tell her mother explicitly that she hated her, Ed could have gone into more detail about she was such a terrible mother, as the book failed to explain other than she was a working mother and liked doing art, which to me doesn't sound bad. It came across like the kids had everything they wanted and were very loved, however they had turned into nasty people for completely unexplained reasons. The writer could have spent a little less time in detail describing how Jenny cooks a meal, and a little more time explaining the characters.
I wanted Jenny to stand up for herself a more, with Ted and Ed particularly and Naomi completely destroyed a number of peoples lives without explanation, it doesn't make any sense.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miss Cartwright on 20 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback
I found this book extremely hard to read, it's taken me a long time to finish this and to be honest by the time the book ended I didn't really care what happened. I thought it was quite long and drawn out and didn't really get that interesting until the last 80 or so pages of the book, which I then felt made the revelations of what had happened to Naomi feel quite rushed. As others have said, I didn't really understand where the hatred Naomi had for her mother came from and found the ending unrealistic and unbelievable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hetty88 on 13 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As others have said on here, the first half of the book was very good. Then it all seemed to fizzle out a bit, I couldnt work out why her son hated her so much or the reason why her daughter disappeared either. It spent far too long describing rose buds and frost covered sand towards the end and seemed to loose its way. Thought the ending was a major left down and didnt fit the rest of the book at all. I wonder if she was made to change it to make it more appealing. Good try just wasnt quite right for me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kiwi_sparkles on 4 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not a fan of the way the book jumps back and forth from present day to events that took place leading up to, and immediately after, the disappearance. The ending is also utter rubbish. Very disappointed - glad it was cheap !
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Love Books VINE VOICE on 16 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It seems to be happening more and more that certain books are given shedloads of hype and marketing which helps project them to the top of the bestsellers lists. Then I (and presumably thousands of other readers) get all excited and rush to read said books only to be disappointed.

This is a book that's 'of the moment' in that it concerns a middle-aged, middle-class mother of teenagers whose daughter doesn't come home after performing in a play one evening. The family is very well off (as they always seem to be in this kind of book) the kids all have their own bathrooms etc. Each member of the family, teenage daughter, over-stretched mother, successful father, non-identical twin sons, lives up to their literary stereotype as do the minor characters.

The book takes place in two timelines, immediately before and after the daughter's disappearance, and 13 months later. The first timeline is, in my opinion, far more gripping than the second, and I was soon skipping sections of the second in which really, until the end, not a lot happens.

A sub-plot about the mother (a doctor) and a child from a working class family had real potential and had me gripped for a while but (SPOILER ALERT) that fizzled out after a while and I was so enraged by the cliches heaped upon the 'poor but loving' characters in that family that I wanted to scream. Would they really love and look after old grandma at home but leave her sitting in a pool of urine? I think not. Surprise surprise but even working class people know that's not kind!
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