Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Daughter by Jane Shemilt (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"How well do you really know those you love?

Jenny loves her three teenage children and her husband, Ted, a celebrated neurosurgeon. She loves the way that, as a family, they always know each other's problems and don't keep secrets from each other.

But when her youngest child, fifteen-year-old Naomi, doesn't come home after her school play and a nationwide search for her begins, secrets previously kept from Jenny are revealed.

Naomi has vanished, leaving her family broken and her mother desperately searching for answers. But the traces Naomi's left behind reveal a very different girl to the one Jenny thought she'd raised. And the more she looks the more she learns that everyone she trusted has been keeping secrets.

How well does she really know her sons, her husband? How well did she know Naomi? If Jenny is going to find her, she'll have to first uncover the truth about the daughter she thought told her everything."

My Thoughts:

Oh my goodness, this book!  I have no words to express how this book made me feel other than it utterly wrecked me for other books for two days after I finished it.  I'm still thinking about this one and it is almost a week later.  This is one of those books that was just so haunting and engrossing and left me reading even when I didn't want to.  As a mother I feel like this one struck a chord with me from the very beginning.  What Jenny goes through is every mother's worst nightmare.  It is almost too terrifying to think about or put words to.  Yet I sat there and just could not tear myself away from the pages of this book.  I was utterly caught up in this family's lives which just goes to show you how much talent this author has.  She made me feel like they were a real family and I almost needed to remind myself that this was fiction.  Just a story.  But one that is going to stick with me for awhile and one that very well make my list of top reads for the year.  Wow!  That's all I can really say.  Just wow.

This one was by far one of the most intense reads that I have read as of late.  It was one of those books where when I got near the end I just sat down and read.  I couldn't have done anything else or set it down by that point.  I was just too invested in the characters by that point and needed to find the answers.  Was this a perfect read for me?  No it had a few faults but that made it a even better reading experience for me because of it.  I would have liked more answers in regards to Naomi's brothers and their "secrets".  I'm being vague there so it doesn't spoil anything and also because it is hard to put into words what I was looking for.  I just felt that there were other secrets that Jenny didn't know about that were alluded to but we really never got the answers for.  I did really, really love the ending of this one though.  There was a twist there that really took me by surprise.  Overall, this was one of the most engrossing reading experiences that I have had lately and I can do nothing but sing this book's praises!

Should my summary just be READ It?  I feel like it should be but I suppose I can give you a bit more.  This is a book that left me thinking about it, has me excited to talk about it with others (so you should really read it and we can discuss), and gave me a bookish hangover.  I am so excited that this is Shemilt's first book because that means we have more amazingness to look forward to!  This book left me gutted but in the best possible way.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A devastatingly good read!  Read it!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.  Thoughts are my own!


  1. I agree that this was certainly a compelling book. I read an advance copy last year before I came back to blogging, so no review. Sigh. I feel like I need to reread it after hearing your thoughts. I remember everything, but I was reading so fast, I suspect I would benefit from going back over it. That mother - my feelings for her shifted back and forth. What she knew, what she didn't, what she ought to have known, what she couldn't have known. Like you, can't wait to see what this author will come up with next.

  2. Sam, this sounds very worth reading--thanks for such an enthusiastic review! I will certainly keep this book in mind. :)

  3. I need to read this. I have a copy, but it's a print copy and print copies always seem to be put in that "later" pile while I read my e-books. Bad, Wendy. I can't wait to read this after reading your review.

  4. Going on my TBR list right now.

  5. I enjoyed reading this book; compelling and thought-provoking at times. I can't wait to see future releases by this author.

  6. This book has such a great cover and glad to hear that the story is a great one!

  7. I felt exactly as you did about this book. Once I started it I couldn't tear myself away from it. Yet my mom is reading it and she doesn't feel that way. Weird but I guess we all have different thoughts on what we read. For me it's one of the best books I've read this year. I agree though that more could have been touched on with the boys - that's all a bit murky. The ending - wow I loved the ending but I've read reviews where people didn't. I think it was a good ending and definitely a twist I hadn't been expecting.

  8. It was sort of fun to just despise the husband!


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