Today Sharon Long reviews Jane Shemilt's The Daughter....
The Daughter, the first novel by Jane Shemilt, tells the story of a rebellious 15-year-old daughter, called Naomi, who disappears one night from her bedroom and how that impacts her astonished family - her mother, father and twin brothers. The story is told from her mother's point of view and goes from the immediate days following her daughter's disappearance to several months afterward.
Throughout the book, both the mother and the reader learn more about this seemingly perfect family. As a reader, I felt the urgency and anguish the mother feels as she learns the truth about the family she thought she knew. This novel is very well written and I had to keep reading as I also had to know what happened to Naomi.
There are several themes – love, desperation, the pull between work and family, grief, etc. with probably the most prominent being what we tell ourselves when we don’t want to see or face the truth. This family of five is the primary characters with various peripheral characters. The story is character driven and explores relationships between husband and wife as well as child and parent.
The Daughter was shortlisted for many awards. She has finished a second book and is starting on a third. I am looking forward to reading both her new novels. The Daughter, now in paperback, is a great book to pick up this summer.