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Daughter [Paperback]

Jane Shemilt
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
Price: £3.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

28 Aug 2014

*A Sunday Times top five bestseller and Richard & Judy Autumn Book Club pick*

When a teenage girl goes missing her mother discovers she doesn't know her daughter as well as she thought in Jane Shemilt's haunting debut novel, Daughter.


She used to tell me everything.

They have a picture. It'll help.

But it doesn't show the way her hair shines so brightly it looks like sheets of gold.

She has a tiny mole, just beneath her left eyebrow.

She smells very faintly of lemons.

She bites her nails.

She never cries.

She loves autumn, I wanted to tell them. She collects leaves, like a child does. She is just a child.



Naomi is still missing. Jenny is a mother on the brink of obsession. The Malcolm family is in pieces.

Is finding the truth about Naomi the only way to put them back together?

Or is the truth the thing that will finally tear them apart?

Daughter by Jane Shemilt is an emotional and compelling story about how well you really know those you love most.

While working as a GP, Jane Shemilt completed a post graduate diploma in Creative Writing at Bristol university and went on to study for the M.A in Creative writing at Bath Spa, gaining both with distinction. She was shortlisted for the Janklow and Nesbitt 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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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (28 Aug 2014)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1405915293
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405915298
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic debut novel 1 Sep 2014
By Sophie
(actual rating 4.5)

Without even really knowing why, I had high expectations for this novel. I couldn’t wait to get started with it and I was not disappointed with this clever, incredibly well pieced together plot. Daughter was a startling, highly impressive debut by Jane Shemilt – an author I will definitely be looking out for more from.

Daughter presents the uncomfortable notion of how any parent would feel if one day, their child never came home. Jenny, Ted, Ed and Theo are a family whose lives are turned upside down the day Naomi doesn’t come home. A family threatening to be torn apart, racked with guilt and blame. The novel switches back and forth in time, from before the disappearance, the day of the disappearance and the time after Naomi’s disappearance. The regular switches in time, though executed well, did take a bit of getting used to but once I did, about a third of the way through, Daughter became the desperately difficult to put down kind of novel I’d been anticipating.

This novel is a mystery, as to how and why Naomi disappeared and what has or has not happened to her. But more intriguing to me was the psychological insight into a person and more so into a family. How a simple interaction, a simple conversation could actually be so much more than that. How the ease of one white lie could transform into a whole lot more and a series of coverings up. These were the motions Jenny went through as she began to consider how much she could trust her family – the family she once believed were as honest and as open as they come. It’s certainly a plot that could make you second guess your own relationships. Jane Shemilt has a fascinating way of turning plausible situations into a stunning piece of fiction.

Daughter was gripping and tense.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars so I was bitterly disappointed by the ending 12 Sep 2014
I was gripped by this book ! I really got into it. To the point where I was looking forward to bedtime so I could lie in bed in peace an find out what was next ! I thought about it while I was at work and everything....so I was bitterly disappointed by the ending ! There should have been more information surrounding the characters not just the daughter. She built up huge descriptions in fact detailed is a better word and then at the end you are left with Unanswered questions. Really frustrating !!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 22 Aug 2014
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Naomi, daughter of GP Jenny Malcolm and Neurosurgeon Ted Malcolm has disappeared. Gradually, the secrets held by the individuals within the family begin to leak out, as the police start to delve into where Naomi may be.

The book is very absorbing. Its written on two interspersed timelines, the one leading up to and immediately after the disappearance, and a year later. The characters are all seen from the perspective of the main protagonist, the mother, Jenny Malcolm, and the depth of characters slowly revealed as she begins to piece together what was really going on, with the support of the Family Liaison Officer.

There is a real tenderness through the book - which will appeal to fans of Audrey Nifenegger's "Time Traveller's Wife", but for me it strayed slightly too far into over-sentimentality towards the end. That said, I would recommend this. It would make a great holiday read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic debut 16 Sep 2014
Originally reviewed for www.bookaholicconfessions.wordpress.com

Mother Jenny Malcolm thinks that she has the perfect family/work/life balance. Yes, her job as a GP keeps her busy but her teenage twins, Ed and Theo and daughter Naomi are fine. She knows her children inside out; they would tell her if anything was wrong. Wouldn’t they??

It seems that Jenny doesn’t really know her children as well as she thinks when Naomi disappears from their lives on one seemingly normal night in November. As the hours since Naomi was last seen stretch into days, more and more secrets are discovered about the daughter that Jenny always thought ‘told her everything’. The story re-caps the days before the disappearance, the horrific time during and then takes us one year into the future to see how the lives of those around Naomi have changed in her absence.

I love a good crime thriller novel and I was hugely excited about reading Daughter. The synopsis grabbed me immediately and there is a quote from Tess Gerritsen on the cover, promising that Daughter is a novel you ‘won’t be able to put down’. Tess…you’re not wrong!
This story drew me in straight away and I will warn you now, it’s no simple abduction story. There’s so much more to it than that, as secret upon secret is revealed and before you know it absolutely nothing and no one are as they seem.
You are kept guessing right until the end as to what happens to Naomi and then just when you think you know what’s happening-BOOM-you’re wrong.
I found debut author Jane Shemilt’s writing to be superb. It’s amazing that this is her first novel as it could easily have been written by a hugely accomplished crime/thriller writer as this is truly impressive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but...... 16 Sep 2014
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Fifteen year old Naomi has disappeared; her family are distraught and grief-stricken. Her twin brothers Theo and Ed, become uncommunicative, even hostile. As the search for her begins, her parents, GP mother Jenny and neurosurgeon father, Ted, begin to learn about the secretive life Naomi has led. Wracked with guilt as the secrets are revealed the family, instead of pulling together, begins to disintegrate.

The central character in this story is not, as you would think, Naomi, but Jenny. Told from her point of view, the narrative hops back and forth in time from just before Naomi went missing, to just after, a period of about fourteen or fifteen months. I found this easy to follow as each section is clearly marked. The writing is good, except for slight inconsistencies here and there.

What disappoints me with this novel is the stereotypical family - Mum and Dad, both professionals too busy and wrapped up in their own lives to notice what their kids are up to. It's all been done before. I had no sympathy at all for Jenny; I found her irritating and too naive to be realistic. The characters lack depth and substance - in fact we learn very little about her brothers, or her father, and Naomi is like a will o ' the wisp - maybe this last was intentional on the part of the author, but it doesn't allow the reader to feel any great sympathy for her. The author piles it on a bit as it's not enough for their only daughter to go missing, but the twins cause problems as well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
This had a disappointing ending.
Published 4 hours ago by Jenny O'Brien
4.0 out of 5 stars An accomplished debut...
The disintegration of family life is demonstrated in this story which focuses on the disappearance of teenager, Naomi. Read more
Published 11 hours ago by jaffareadstoo
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
What a brilliant book, best I have read in a long while. Makes you reflect on your own life, especially as a busy working parent some of it hits home. Read more
Published 12 hours ago by Jo
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and thought provoking
Five stars ... Could not put it down ...when you're handed your new born baby you have no idea how hard being a parent is ... Read more
Published 13 hours ago by SandraJ
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully crafted story and thought provoking
This book is beautifully written.
It's the story of a family torn apart when the teenage daughter goes missing, and how each member comes to deal with the expected... Read more
Published 13 hours ago by genie60
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
I enjoyed this book and the ending was a surprise if a little abrupt. It is very well written and the past / present construction, which is fashionable at the moment, works well. Read more
Published 23 hours ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars enthralling
It did not end as I thought, so intriguing and thought provoking, could not put it down at all. Read it in a day!
Published 1 day ago by Lainey@winslow
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read but a few parts were distracting
This is a thoughtfully written thriller about a teenager going missing, specifically about the effect that her absence has on the rest of the family. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Janie U
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Fantastic book. Would like a follow to see what could happen next. Or maybe from the child's view. Recommend this book.
Published 2 days ago by Jay
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic book
Fantastic book , drew me in didn't want to put it down to find out what happened .
Published 2 days ago by carol hogg
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