The Daughter: A Novel

Paperback | March 3, 2015

byJane Shemilt

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In the tradition of Gillian Flynn, Tana French, and Ruth Rendell, this compelling and clever psychological thriller spins the harrowing tale of a mother’s obsessive search for her missing daughter.

Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers, married to a celebrated neurosurgeon.

But when her youngest child, fifteen-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play, Jenny’s seemingly ideal life begins to crumble. The authorities launch a nationwide search with no success. Naomi has vanished, and her family is broken.

As the months pass, the worst-case scenarios—kidnapping, murder—seem less plausible. The trail has gone cold. Yet for a desperate Jenny, the search has barely begun. More than a year after her daughter’s disappearance, she’s still digging for answers—and what she finds disturbs her. Everyone she’s trusted, everyone she thought she knew, has been keeping secrets, especially Naomi. Piecing together the traces her daughter left behind, Jenny discovers a very different Naomi from the girl she thought she’d raised. 

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From the Publisher

In the tradition of Gillian Flynn, Tana French, and Ruth Rendell, this compelling and clever psychological thriller spins the harrowing tale of a mother’s obsessive search for her missing daughter.Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers, married to a celebrated neurosurgeon.But when her youngest child, ...

From the Jacket

Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers, married to a celebrated neurosurgeon.But when her youngest child, fifteen-year-old Naomi, doesn't come home after her school play, Jenny's seemingly ideal life begins to crumble. The authorities launch a nationwide search with no success. Naomi has vanished, and ...

While working full time as a physician, Jane Shemilt received an M.A. in creative writing. She was shortlisted for the Janklow and Nesbit award and the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize forThe Daughter, her first novel. She and her husband, a professor of neurosurgery, have five children and live in Bristol, England.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.79 inPublished:March 3, 2015Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062320475

ISBN - 13:9780062320476

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Customer Reviews of The Daughter: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good premise slow building The premise sounded good, yet it dragged on and on about the mother's grief, which I get having kids myself losing a child even worse a missing child, but I found myself getting impatient with the story going nowhere. Could have been a better book if the story didn't center so much on the mother's grief and her suprise at not knowing her kids.
Date published: 2015-06-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Debut novel The Daughter is Jane Shemilt's debut novel. How's this for a 'grab your attention and keep you reading until you're going to be tired in the morning opening line'.... "If only. If only I"d been listening. If only I'd been watching. If only I could start again, exactly one year ago." Jenny and her husband Ted are parents to teenagers Naomi and twins Theo and Ed. They're both busy physicians and there just never seems to be enough time to keep on top of everything - things get missed. In this case, it's Naomi who goes missing. Shemilt tells the story of this family from the perspective of Jenny then - just before Naomi's disappearance - and now, one year later with Naomi still missing. I loved this dual narrative. A hint or a line from the past or a remembered nuance sparks a segue to the present and back again. With hindsight, Jenny relives the months leading up to Naomi's disappearance. Did she focus on herself too much? What did she miss? How did she not act on the changes she noticed in her daughter? How could she be blind to what was happening in her family? Shemilt's story tells the story of a horrific loss in a seemingly idyllic family - and exposes the secrets and problems beneath that exterior gloss. But the pressing question is what happened to Naomi? Is she still alive? And Jenny comes to realize she didn't really know her daughter at all.... The publisher's blurb reads: "a compelling and clever psychological thriller". I'm not sure about the thriller label, but The Daughter kept me engrossed from start to finish. I was engaged in Jenny's self recriminations (I did found Jenny difficult to like or feel sympathy for though) and got caught up in the search for Naomi. For me, the book was a slow measured suspense novel, with the focus on the mother rather than the daughter. The ending wasn't quite what I had expected, but as I thought about it, I decided I liked it after all. The Daughter was a good debut and I would pick up the next book from this author.
Date published: 2015-03-17

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Editorial Reviews

“Jenny is a strong believable character…[her] journey is a memorable one.”