Spend your remaining holidays wrapped up in fleecy pyjamas, with a good book in hand; our latest pick is something to immerse yourself in while the wintery weather goes on around you…
Daughter by Jane Shemilt
This read is regularly topping bestseller and ‘must read’ lists, but despite this is it did take us a couple of attempts to get past the first few chapters. Although it’s not dull, the opening pages don’t grip you like the remainder of the book but bear with the slow start as it soon gets interesting.
The chapters switch between the present day and around a year before – the change in time and location can be hard to keep up with at times but it’s not impossible to track. Our narrator, Jenny, is the mother of three teenagers. She believes – despite her busy career – that she knows everything about her children – they come to her with worries or concerns and they’re quick to share everything with her. When her youngest, a daughter named Naomi, doesn’t come home after an evening with friends, this illusion starts to unravel.
Before long, we start to see cracks in the relationships; not just between Jenny and her children but also amongst her and her husband, as well as issues at work.
As the story flickers between the present day and the tragic events that surround the disappearance, we are not told much about the outcome. We can assume early on that despite the lapse in time, Naomi hasn’t been found and we’re still hooked on the possibility that she’s alive somewhere.
Oddly, the story doesn’t concentrate much on the outcome of the disappearance. Even towards the final chapters, we’re never sure if we will find out much about what happened. There’s several leads which are exhausted and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
Just when you think loose ends won’t be tied up, we have closure. The end is somewhat rushed, especially when compared to the rest of the book, but the plot twist is likely to shock.
It’s this unexpected turn of events that really shifts the dynamic of the story, and keeps us guessing right through to the last page… and beyond!
It’s quite a ruthless story, but it still engrosses the reader and really leaves you wondering about the end for days afterwards. It’s easy to pick up where you left off, or read it all in an afternoon as the writer keeps you entertained throughout.
Well worth a read if you like to escape when getting in to a novel!
Have you read Daughter?