Review: Daughter by Jane Shemilt

Title: Daughter

Author: Jane Shemilt

Published: Michael Joseph: Penguin Au January 2015

Read an Extract

Status: Read on January 02, 2015   {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

When her young teenage daughter fails to come home one night after a school play performance, Jenny is frantic, Naomi is an innocent, her disappearance out of character and Jenny wants nothing more than to find her. As the police investigate, Jenny is stunned by what they discover, Naomi has been leading a life she knew nothing about.

The first person narrative shifts between the past – the days and weeks just before and after Naomi’s disappearance – and the present, nearly a year later. Surprisingly, this doesn’t really dampen the suspense as the drama unfolds in both timelines, slowly revealing shocking betrayals, truths and lies.

Jenny’s life falls apart in the wake of Naomi’s disappearance as the secrets her family have kept from her are revealed. I was disturbed to find myself judging Jenny, a busy GP, condemning her for being so oblivious to the reality of her husband’s and children’s lives. It’s not entirely unjustified and Shemilt seems to encourage that response, but it isn’t particularly fair. As a teenager I kept many secrets from my (working) parents, and now, even as a stay at home mother, I know my four children keep secrets from me, though nothing (I hope) as earth shattering as the ones Jenny’s children keep.

The writing is often atmospheric evoking the maelstrom of emotion experienced by Jenny, as well as the setting. The story is well paced, the tension of the plot is well maintained and the conclusion is a shock, one I’m still not sure about though.

Daughter is a haunting tale of guilt, betrayal, truth and family prompting the read to consider how well we really know the ones we love most.

Available to purchase from

Penguin Au Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Bookworld I via Booko

Amazon AU  I Amazon US I BookDepository

and all good bookstores.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shannon (Giraffe Days)
    Jan 04, 2015 @ 20:25:02

    Love the sound of this. Hadn’t heard of it before but I’m very intrigued.



  2. Rebecca Bradley
    Jan 04, 2015 @ 23:02:24

    I have this and I’m looking forward to reading it!



  3. Jade @ Scatterbooker
    Jan 04, 2015 @ 23:27:09

    Oh, I’ve got this one on my to read list!



  4. Deborah
    Jan 04, 2015 @ 23:42:59

    I enjoyed this though her kids REALLY annoyed me!



  5. laurelrainsnow
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 03:24:32

    I have this one on my list, and can’t wait to read it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts…great review.



  6. notesoflifeuk
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 03:25:51

    Sounds like a great read… Another to add to my list! 🙂



  7. readingwritingandriesling
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 22:47:55

    Another on my TBR pile – hope to catch up with this one soon



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