Daughter: victoryawards.us: Jane Shemilt: Books
This is the unsettling question raised in Daughter, the debut novel by ways by their loss, they are all further apart and changed by the end. and reviews. Leah said: I've literally just finished reading Daughter and I'm confused. What kind of ending was that Jane Shemilt Stefane I disliked the ending. Thought it How Far We Fall: The perfect marriage. The perfect. We talk to author Jane Shemilt about her new book Daughter. Her marriage, family and professional lives have completely unravelled. trying to have (and give) it all but who ends up losing everything as time goes on, she.
Exclusive interview with Jane Shemilt
Is finding the truth about Naomi the only way to put them back together? Or is the truth the thing that will finally tear them apart?
Jenny is a busy mother of three; fifteen-year-old Naomi and the slightly older twin brothers Ed and Theo. As both herself and her husband Ted are doctors, they're not home as much as the average parents but they pride themselves on having three self-sufficient teenagers that can take care of themselves without much complaining and without burning the house down.
So when one faithful night their daughter Naomi goes missing, they instantly know something bad has happened and she has been abducted. After all, their perfect daughter would never do anything as reckless as run away from home herself, would she? The story is told in a series of flashbacks interspersed with the present tense, taking place one year after Naomi's disappearance.
The investigation is still ongoing but as Jenny reflects on the days just before and just after her daughter went missing she slowly connects the dots to what ultimately leads to some answers to the many questions that have been consuming her life for the past year, not to mention made the relationship with her husband and sons suffer greatly in the process.
Daughter was not what I was expecting, in a good way. Partly influenced by the cover design and sinister marketing campaign for the novel, I was under the impression that this would be a thriller, bordering on horror, which isn't something I would not normally pick up to read. So I was pleasantly surprised then when the story turned out to be much more realistic and emotionally gripping than my first impression. I found myself engrossed by the vivid descriptions of a parent's worst nightmare, which was simultaneously horrifying and compelling.
The fact that my own sister is also called Naomi and is of a similar age to the daughter within the story that goes missing heightened the realism for me, which made it an even more intense read than it already was. I do have to say that I was a bit confused during the first few chapters by the names of the male characters.
I understand why Ed and Theo had names so similar to their father Ted, people often name their children after relatives after all, but when I was still coming to grips with the various characters within the story it did trip me up that they all sounded samey and more than once I made the mistake of thinking Jenny was referring to her husband when in actual fact it was one of her sons, and vice versa, which made it a little more difficult to get into the story.
Nonetheless this was for the most part a terrific read, where all throughout I was quite literally on the edge of my seat as secrets were revealed and the mystery behind Naomi's disappearance became both more intriguing and more messed up as the story moved along. It's a novel that you probably don't want to be reading if you have a distant teenager yourself, it's far too realistic and you'd only want to lock them in their room for their own safety and never leave the house again, but it's certainly an eye-opener to what can go on in the life of a modern-day teenager and a warning to parents everywhere to keep an eye on their children, even when they're at that age where they think they're all grown-up.
I found this an incredibly compelling and moving novel, but unfortunately the final few pages ruined it somewhat. When her husband reappears unexpectedly bringing new, darker information, the search is re-ignited as they hunt down the abductor.
The book explores grief and loss, secrets and lies and what happens when doctors play God. It is also about the shadows waiting at the edges of even the happiest brightest seeming families. You were working as a GP while you studied creative writing at diploma and MA level, so how did you juggle these two commitments? The diploma took place over two years in the post graduate department of Bristol University near where we live; it was a weekly event on Tuesday evenings so it meant I could work as normal in the surgery during the day.
Stories that helped me connect with my patients.
Daughter by Jane Shemilt
In turn, things happened in the surgery that were inspirational. The involvement demanded on the M. A was much greater; we had writing to do during the week and feedback to give as well as much reading. By then I had been a doctor for a long time and I felt I could allow myself to become immersed in this different, wonderful world so it was at this point that I stopped general practice.THE DAUGHTER BY JANE SHEMILT *BOOK REVIEW*
Your debut novel has been shortlisted three times, how did it affect your confidence as a writer? Being shortlisted was an unreal but very affirming experience; I felt and feel enormously privileged.
A so that felt very special. The second time was for the Lucy Cavendish award and the ceremony was wonderful. It took place in the Lucy Cavendish College in Cambridge where over drinks then dinner I met the other candidates and published writers, including Sophie Hannah and Rowan Pelling, the journalist, as well as inspiring academicians.
The book has been compared to Emma Donoghue and Rosemond Lupton so how does this make you feel? Both these writers are brilliant originals so obviously extremely proud! Room by Emma Donoghue was a stunningly real, heart wrenching story with love at its heart; the voice was unforgettable.
Daughter – Jane Shemilt
Sister is also about the enduring power of love, and deals with sibling closeness in a unique way which felt utterly genuine. Both books drew power from being character driven, yet were also page turners. This was my ambition, so to be linked with these novelists is wonderful.
The voice of the woman she was and the one she becomes, alternate through successive chapters. The story begins with the grieving Jenny, the one who has lost everything that defined her: She is on her own, with loneliness and silence beating around her.
The Daughter by Jane Shemilt – Traveling With T
Later she appears as she was before the disappearance of her daughterbusy happy, high- achieving and unaware of the shadows that are closing in on her and her family. Naomi is the absent heart of the story; she is revealed mostly in the light that is reflected on her by parents, siblings and friends. In the brief time she appears, she seems to be a happy- go- lucky school girl, busy with her starring role in the school play and with the usual tussles over homework and time she is allowed out until, with friends.
It is only when she has disappeared, does a darker picture emerge of a complex and manipulative character; a girl Jenny wonders if she ever really knew. Thank you so much.