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Daughter Paperback – 28 Aug 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (28 Aug. 2014)
  • 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 (942 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


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)

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

6 of 6 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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By the curious miss m on 4 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading the book and overall I think this is a a well-rounded story.
The style of writing was eloquent and concise, however I felt at times that Shemilt was trying to become absorbed in being too flowery with her descriptions, which I personally found a little bit long-winded. The second downpoint for me was the way the the protagonist Jenny was presented throughout the book. Without trying to give too much away from the plot, I failed to really comprehend the resentment she was experiencing from her family. While the reader was told about incidences which may have triggered this behaviour towards her, I was left a bit irritated about the tirades of verbal abuse she was exposed to. In the end I felt like I was watching someone from afar being bullied. Ultimately I would have enjoyed reading more about HOW all these feelings towards Jenny had evolved, instead of just being told about them. AsI have already mentioned in the headline of my review, the characters became two-dimensional at some point which made it hard to empathise. Maybe I am missing a vital point here, but as I've already mentioned these are my personal feelings I had during reading this novel.
All in all, a good plot, which offers a bit of new approach to psychological thrillers. Definitely worth a read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lizzie2896 on 29 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Found this a frustrating read. Did Jenny have a functioning brain??? How she managed to be a GP is beyond belief. Many women have 3 children and lead a professional life. Jenny had domestic help , Lots of money... And... . A Holiday home.. Yet she was was so condescending towards patients and came across as uncaring , living in Jenny world. Her 'art' blinkered her to what was obvious. No wonder her children cracked....Too much stereotyping.. The poor feckless family with the misdiagnosed child were so patronised and as for the 'gypsy' content ??? I have taught many children from occupational travelling families and have nothing but praise for most of the children and their upbringing. In fact the word gypsy is now a racist comment in Scotland.,.. The immigrant cleaner with the husband who glared at Jenny??? What???? Middle class tosh I'm afraid... Gave up!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By E L Meakin on 4 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
2.5 stars. I struggled with this. I actually started reading it months ago - twice - and put it down each time. When I picked it up for the third time I knew for sure that it wasn't just that I wasn't in the mood for a slow-burn depressing domestic mystery, and forced myself to finish.

It's not bad. It's very accomplished for a debut and there are instances of breathtaking prose. The structure is clever and handled admirably; I didn't get lost or confused as to where we were in the Before or After once. But the structure itself causes fault - it means that you lose all tension or anticipation with the Before scenes, as you know from reading the interspersed After scenes that all these red herrings are exactly that, and lead nowhere, as Naomi is still missing over a year later. And the After scenes, well, they are just Jenny sitting in a cottage, thinking to herself, painting - hardly gripping.

I just didn't connect or care, and that was what made it a slog. Nothing rang particularly true - and I know I'm not a GP or a mother of three teenagers, but still. All the characters are odious pricks. The ending was a bit eye-rolly, right when I wanted it to pack the sort of punch that would have made it a solid three-star read. It never got there.

So, all in all, a bit of a disappointment. But it does sit better with other readers, and if you're interested by the blurb and an aficionado of the genre, certainly don't be put off by my review!
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Chanatkins on 6 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am giving this four stars as I did enjoy it; it was a real page turner and very gripping, as well as very well written. I would definitely read more from this author and recommend this book. However there were a few things about it that troubled me. Daughter is the story of the 'perfect' family, GP Jenny, her neuro-surgeon husband Ted and their three teenage children. Their lives are blown apart one day when their fifteen year old daughter Naomi fails to return home after her school performance. The story is told from Jenny's point of view, and as she is plunged into every mother's worst nightmare, we see her trying to piece together the clues she missed in the lead up to Naomi's disappearance. It is soon revealed that she did not know her daughter at all, and their family is far from perfect. This book is certainly gripping and powerful, and I had to keep reading it every chance I got. Sadly the more I read the less I engaged with the characters. There were times I felt pity for Jenny, as she shoulders the blame for being a busy working mum while nothing is made of how unavailable the husband is. He seems to get off scott free which annoyed me. The two timelines, one told in the present where Jenny is still trying to find out what happened to her daughter, and one told in the past, leading up to and after the disappearance actually works very well. It makes you turn the page, desperate to piece the puzzle together. There are twists and turns and the ending was a surprise. What I found unrealistic was Naomi's obvious hatred for her mother. It was hard to fathom that Jenny had done anything to deserve such behaviour. Jenny herself becomes rather weak and irritating as time goes on, and there were many times I wanted her to stand up for herself where her children were concerned, Thought provoking though and a very powerful first debut.
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