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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.

390 pages, Paperback

First published August 28, 2014

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About the author

Jane Shemilt

13 books480 followers
Jane is a general practitioner who completed a post graduate diploma in Creative Writing at Bristol university and went on to study for a M.A in Creative writing at Bath Spa. She was shortlisted for the Janklow and Nesbitt award and the Lucy Cavendish fiction prize for Daughter, her first novel.

She and her husband, a Professor of Neurosurgery, have 5 children and live in Bristol, England.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,203 reviews
Profile Image for Leah.
1,583 reviews291 followers
September 11, 2014
I've literally just finished reading Daughter... and I'm confused. What kind of ending was that? Who writes a 400 page book to end it so ambiguously? Ugh. I'm not impressed, and a tad confused. What exactly happened the night Naomi disappeared? Despite that being the main question asked of the novel, we don't actually find out definitively.

I also must confess to not liking the present day narrative. It was a bit boring, and Jenny's guilt came way, way too late. Whilst I understand her need for giving her kids independence, the way they all acted toward her tells me it was more like negligence. She talked to her kids when it suited her, and as such her relationship with all three was rubbish, to the point where they had an attitude towards her, and ignored her, and didn't answer her questions.

I was just immensely disappointed with the novel. I never felt as if I needed to be on the edge of my seat, I didn't find the novel particularly thrilling, in all honesty, I found it a bit boring, and I skipped large parts of the novel, in a bid to find out answers that never really came. It was a shame, as many people have enjoyed the novel, but I wasn't one of them.
Profile Image for Margaret Houston.
Author 4 books12 followers
October 3, 2014
I have to say, in many ways, this disappointed me.

The structure - bouncing back and forth between the immediate aftermath of the narrator's daughter's disappearance, and a year later - meant that we knew that every clue, and every lead, in the weeks following the disappearance led nowhere. And it meant that every suspect who we knew was still free a year later was innocent. This reduced a LOT of the tension of the disappearance. Also, the modern sections, until the end, don't seem to do much of anything for the plot. The narrator spends a lot of time sitting atmospherically about in her Dorset cottage, reflecting on what happened a year before, but until the very end, when the mystery is solved, those sections don't seem to have any real purpose or point. It would have been easy to just tell the story straight, without flipping back and forth between 2009 and 2010/11 - we would still have seen the impact of the disappearance on all the characters (which I think was the point of the modern sections), but there would have been more tension and we wouldn't have been thrown in and out of two different narratives for what seemed like no particular reason.

Also, I found the narrator INSANELY naive. I realise that her lack of knowledge about what's really going on in her kids' lives is part of the point of the novel - but really? Your daughter is sexually active with two different guys, three months pregnant, and dealing drugs, while your son is shooting up heroin, and you have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER that ANYTHING is wrong? Even when you see "10 weeks" scribbled in your daughter's journal, under a date? Okay, we've all missed some clues, but that seems to go WAY beyond normal. I picked up on every single one of those problems well before the narrator did (and I diagnosed Jade's luekemia in two paragraphs, and I'm not a doctor). Yet she seems FULLY able to believe that Naomi would have caught a whiff of lavender on Beth during a two-second interaction, and would have picked up from THAT, that Beth and Ted were having a full-blown affair? This really stretched credibility - the plot strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel. And it made the narrator less of a believable, sympathetic character.

And the ending seemed to come out of nowhere. To cut off ALL contact with your family, voluntarily, is a HUGE DEAL. For a troubled 14-year-old kid to run away - that's normal. For her to fake her own death and pretend not to recognise her own mother before running away AGAIN, there either needs to be some serious abuse or dysfunction in the home, or the kid has to be pretty screwed up or emotionless/sociopathic. Estrangement is a MASSIVE thing to do, and there doesn't seem to be any explanation of what spurred Naomi to do it. Okay, so she was in love with this guy. Why not tell her family? Why not run away with him and TELL HER FAMILY where she was, even if she planned to enter the traveller community permanently? The silence seems more like a plot device to keep the disappearance a mystery rather than anything genuinely coming from the character.

The style in general was fairly prosaic, but there were poetic scene-setting bits at the start of almost every section, going into lots of detail about the weather and the trees, and then going back to a prosaic style for the action and dialogue. I found this disconcerting - the poetic bits seemed to serve no purpose other than to try and elevate the style of the novel, and they were at odds to the overall writing style.

Finally, there's an extended scene where the narrator is watching a spider on the wall of her garden on Christmas Eve. In general, spiders are not active in winter. They die or hibernate.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Deanna .
664 reviews12.4k followers
July 8, 2015
I was really looking forward to this book after reading the description. However, in my opinion it didn't quite live up to my expectations.

When 15 year old Naomi doesn't come home after her school play, her parents immediately start to panic. A nationwide search is launched but there seems to be no trace of Naomi. Was she taken or did she leave by her own choice? Her mother Jenny has not given up hope and continues to dig for answers. She questions everything she thought she knew about Naomi as well as her other family members. It seems like everyone has been keeping secrets. Jenny starts to see that there were many things she did not pay enough attention too, perhaps excusing behaviors that should have concerned her more.

The book alternates between the weeks leading up to Naomi's disappearance and just over a year later. I found some of the characters hard to like and/or understand fully. For example I could not warm to the son Ed and found him to be extremely harsh. I felt that some characters could have had more of a voice and was left confused by actions of some other characters. I did not feel like I completely knew Naomi or understood her motivations. I was not crazy about how it ended. It seemed quite abrupt, confusing, and it felt like so much was left unanswered.

I will say that all in all it was still worth the read. It held my attention and was quite thought provoking. Can we ever completely know the ones we love? Can we have it all?
Profile Image for Joanne Sheppard.
442 reviews42 followers
September 30, 2014
Daughter by Jane Shemilt centres on the disappearance of a 15-year-old girl, Naomi, from the kind of middle-class, well-off family that has a cleaner and a holiday cottage. It's Naomi's mother Jenny who tells the story of the events leading up to Naomi's failure to come home one night after her appearance in a school play, and of the aftermath of her - what? Abduction? Murder? Or has Naomi simply run away?

The general message of Daughter is that we don't always know our families - particularly our teenage children - as well as we think we do. Fresh-faced, chatty Naomi, who doesn't like the taste of alcohol, never smokes and rarely wears makeup, is soon revealed by the investigation into her disappearance to have been concealing no end of secrets from her mother, and this seems almost as painful for Jenny as the fact that she has gone missing. Moreover, Naomi's twin older brothers, Ed and Theo, seem to be hiding a few secrets of their own - and what of Ted, her neurosurgeon father?

Unfortunately, despite an engaging mystery plot, much of the book simply doesn't ring particularly true. It's not hard to believe that a teenage girl might have a secret boyfriend (or two) but I don't find it remotely plausible that, upon spending a day with such a boyfriend at her family's holiday cottage without her parents' knowledge, she'd be daft enough to leave stained sheets and half-empty wine-glasses behind in the bedroom for them to find. Nor do I think it plausible that a sixth-former would submit a naked photo of his underage sister for his school art project without his sister, teacher or mother having any kind of problem with this. And there are other elements to the story that I found just as irksomely unlikely - the ending, for example, not to mention the last few chapters building up to it.

I'm afraid I also felt it hard to care much about naive, mildly snobbish Jenny and her relationship with her characterless husband Ted. Both the couple and their marriage are somewhat dull, and their children are somewhat reminiscent of Julie Myerson's appalling brood in the now defunct Guardian column Living With Teenagers - rude, sullen, spoilt and in need of a sharp clip round the ear.

It's also infuriating that it's implied several times - not just by the characters, but by the narrative overall - that Jenny's failure to notice her children's multiple problems is down to her dedication to her career as a busy GP, leaving her with too little time to devote to her offspring. Apparently nobody (except, once or twice, Jenny herself) has an issue with Ted's equally demanding job, needless to say.

Overall, while the cleverly structured plot did keep me turning the pages, this wasn't the gripping read I'd hoped it would be, failing on matters of character development and plausibility throughout.
Profile Image for Mª Carmen.
583 reviews
March 3, 2023
Un thriller de corte psicológico, que se lee bien sin que haya terminado de convencerme.

Dice la sinopsis:
Jenny es una doctora casada con un famoso neurocirujano y madre de tres adolescentes. Cuando su hija de quince años, Naomi, no regresa a casa después de la escuela, la vida perfecta que Jenny creía haber construido se desmorona. Las autoridades dan la voz de alarma y comienza una campaña nacional para buscar a la pequeña, pero sin éxito: Naomi se ha esfumado y la familia está destruida. Pasan los meses y las peores hipótesis se vuelven cada vez más plausibles, pero a falta de pistas, la atención sobre el caso se diluye. Jenny, sin embargo, no se rinde. Un año después de la desaparición de su hija, sigue buscando la verdad. Pronto se da cuenta de que las personas en las que confiaba están ocultando secretos terribles, y la primera, su propia hija.

Mis impresiones.

Parte de una premisa, que sin ser novedosa, resulta interesante. El desarrollo de la novela se alterna en dos tiempos, uno en 2009, cuando tiene lugar la desaparición de Naomi y el otro un año después. Ambos planos están narrados por Jenny, la madre, en primera persona. La trama no está mal llevada, aunque lo fía todo a pequeñas pistas que van surgiendo más o menos porque sí sin que haya una investigación bien planificada. Pese a ello, es entretenido y se lee bien.

Normalmente me gustan los libros escritos en primera persona. Sin embargo, en esta ocasión, Jenny, a menudo, se recrea en exceso con sus pensamientos o en detalles que no aportan nada a la trama. Al estar bien escrito no llega a hacerse pesado, pero sí ralentiza la acción de forma innecesaria.

Mi principal problema viene de la mano de los personajes. No he conectado con ninguno. El de Jenny, con la que no he empatizado, es el mejor desarrollado, el resto me han resultado anodinos. El marido está sin estar. El agente de enlace parece más inmerso en su romance que en la investigación. Uno de los hijos me ha resultado desagradable, ni siquiera sus circunstancias, que podrían justificar su actitud, me han llevado a verlo de otra manera. Su hermano gemelo no aporta nada a la historia y el comportamiento de Naomi es confuso.

El final, peregrino. Me sorprendió el giro, no lo esperaba, pero no me lo he creído ni me parece coherente.

En conclusión. Un thriller que se deja leer. Cumple sin ser gran cosa y con un final que a mi juicio deja mucho que desear.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,736 reviews14.1k followers
March 8, 2015
3.5 Jenny thought she was handling her busy life well, she is a physician, loves to paint and is raising three children. She thought that though her time was divided that she knew her children, understood them and was always there for them when they really needed her. She thought this until her fifteen year old daughter Naomi did not come home.

I think if I had read this while raising my children it would have made me very protective, looking for things they were not telling me. Maybe more careful too, which might not have been a bad thing. My children now basically raised, finding out the things they did, I realize that I did the best I could. After Naomi's disappearance Jenny learns again and again the things she did not see, the things she excused or behavior she made excuses for. The things she didn't notice within her own family, not only with her daughter but her husband and sons as well.

The book alternates between the days leading up to Naomi's disappearance and a year later. This is a very well written book and at its heart is a story that parents would find very readable. It would make a great book discussion book, so many issues and revelations. Is it really possible for a wife and mother to have it all? In our busy lives how many things do we miss that we should be seeing?

I was not crazy about the ending, felt it was a little abrupt and at the end I have to admit to not liking the character of Naomi very well, nor really understood her motivations. Had other questions as well that I felt were not adequately answered. Nevertheless this was a very good and though provoking read.

ARC from publisher.
Profile Image for Amy Goodchild.
10 reviews8 followers
March 3, 2018
Daughter is told from the perspective of Jenny, a doctor and mother, as she deals with the disappearance of her daughter, Naomi. Jenny is vilified, by herself and everyone around her, for being a working mother. There is little evidence that she is a particularly bad mother, except for the fact that her bratty kids and cheating husband are constantly accusing her of being one. There is also the fact that she is spectacularly stupid.

The story is flimsy. We're expected to believe that TWO kids from a middle class well to do family randomly and independently fall into serious drug use within months of each other. Both of them steal medical drugs from their doctor parents. Naomi steals Ketamine to sell, while her brother Ed becomes seriously addicted to intravenous drugs. Their parents (who, again, are DOCTORS) do not notice even though Ed's apparently got so far into drugs that he's developed an abscess on his arm.

Jenny repeatedly interprets things in an infuriatingly naive way. She reads "10 weeks" in her teenage daughter's diary and it doesn't occur to her (A DOCTOR) that this means 10 weeks pregnant. She frequently happens across blindingly obvious clues and assumes they are innocent things with all the intuition of a box of nails.

Near the end of the book, we discover that Naomi has been potentially found, but then it turns out that in fact, she died. Then, Jenny shows up to the gypsy campsite where she supposedly died, and finds Naomi calling after her own daughter, Carys. It seems her death was a lie. Then, astonishingly, the book ends with a shrug of the shoulders as Jenny apparently just decides to leave her daughter (who can only be 16 at most by this time) and her 6 month old granddaughter to live their gypsy lives.

She does look up the granddaughter's name, Carys, and tells us that it means love. Which is nice, but HELLO, your 16 year old daughter has run away with a man (who has now been shot by the police) and you are going to leave them there to live in a caravan in Wales?

I cannot fathom how Jane Shelmit authored this with a straight face.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Alex.
117 reviews6 followers
December 30, 2014
Where to begin? Primarily I found this book just quite dull. Nothing really happens until a good two thirds of the way in, except of course for Jenny feeling constantly guilty about not recognising the signs that her daughter was a pathological liar and a slut etc. The characters are so cliche ridden it's painful. Ted, distracted and work obsessed, the sulky (and frankly pretty vile) teenage twins, Naomi being 'distant', Mum trying to juggle everything... I'd spotted the 'surprises' a long time coming - Jade's illness, Naomi's pregnancy, Ted's affair... all too predictable. However, my main gripe was that all the characters are just so thoroughly unpleasant - it was difficult to feel any sympathy/empathy, and therefore difficult to even care about what actually had happened to Naomi (which ended up being a bit farcical in itself). The 3 kids behave like totally unloveable spoilt brats, with virtually no redeeming features, and the Husband is just a parody of himself. Shemilt's writing does have potential, but she should definitely move away from the cliche ridden characters. Too whiny, and way too much solo narrative from Jenny, with surprisingly little action. I won't be rushing back to read more.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
June 18, 2021
Όσοι αναγνώστες είναι γονείς σίγουρα θα συναισθανθούν αυτό το ψυχολογικό θρίλερ σχετικά με την εξαφάνιση μιας έφηβης νεαρής και θα βαθύνει περισσότερο αυτή η μαύρη τρύπα του πανικού και του τρόμου, που κάνει κάθε γονέα να βυθίζεται σε ψυχικά σκοτάδια δίχως όρια, με μόνη απαντοχή την ιδέα της παραιτημένης κατάθλιψης ή την λυτρωτική πράξη της αυτοκτονίας απλώς και μόνο όταν αναλογιστεί την απώλεια του παιδιού του.
Φυσικά εξακολουθεί να σημαίνει πως είναι ένα εντατικό,κλιμακούμενο και αγωνιώδες θρίλερ, καλογραμμένο και σπαρακτικό, με ένα σοκαριστικό τελος και για όσους δεν έχουν βουτήξει στο πηγάδι της μητρότητας ή της πατρότητας.
Διαβάστε το.
Γρήγορο, δυνατό και ώριμα γραμμένο αναφορικά με τις σύγχρονες οικογένειες, τις κοινωνικές και θεσμικές νόρμες, τα προσωπικά πεδία θλίψης, απαξίωσης και τους εμμονικά ενοχικούς ανθρώπους που ψάχνουν το αίτιο και την αφορμή μετά την καταστροφή, μετά το απροβλεπτο, μετά το μη αναστρέψιμο ή και όχι.
Εμπεριέχει πολλές πνευματικές εξόδους κινδύνου σε περιπτώσεις που η φωτιά της τραγωδίας εξελλίσεται σε εμπρηστική διαίσθηση.
Οι προσωπικές σχέσεις και η επικοινωνία στις φλεγόμενες οικογένειες κάνει το νερό της βροχής απο τα θεϊκά σύννεφα παρέμβασης να κατασβήνει το μεγάλο κακό μόνο όταν έχει καταστραφεί η προστασία της σκεπής, τότε που είναι πολύ αργά για χαρά και για λύπη.

Καλή ανάγνωση
Πολλούς και σεμνούς ασπασμούς.
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,030 reviews1,045 followers
March 13, 2020
More like 2.75 stars

A before and after narration of a mother who lost her only daughter for more than a year and is still hoping to receive news, any news at all about her missing daughter. To be honest, I found the first half of the book compelling to read. My suspicions were raised against several characters in the story who seemed a possible culprit because like I’ve already established, anyone in a mystery/crime/thriller novel could be a suspect.

But as the story moves forward, each character is proven innocent albeit creating a different kind of family problem for the mother,Jenny and she discovers that each member of her family is nothing like she thought they’d be. Of course, she is largely to blame because of her naivety and her belief that theirs is perfect family and that she has been very lucky. It kind of exhausted me to be honest because I was singlemindedly focused on the main conflict, the missing girl, and I guess the skeletons spilling out of their closets overwhelmed me.

Halfway through, the narrative has become long winded and the plot has started to go downhill and I needed all my patience just to get through the end. In the end, when the truth is already revealed, it wasn’t even satisfying. I mean why?! I don’t think it’s justified at all. Sure, the family isn’t perfect. Jenny and Ted are not the best parents I don’t think they deserve that from their child. Oops, sorry. I’ll stop here now in case I’ll say more and completely spoil other readers of the ending. I’ll just shrug my shoulders in a “whatever” gesture because that’s just exactly the reaction that ending deserves.

Generally though, it’s still worth a read, just that you need to be really patient if you want to get through the novel.
Profile Image for Frances.
106 reviews41 followers
August 27, 2016
This book was an enormous waste of my time. I don't even know where to begin with this.

The main character, Jenny, is a Dr and an idiot. "My daughter's perfect and good and tells me everything!" Even a good kid doesn't tell their parents everything. She's completely oblivious to what anyone is doing, ever, if it doesn't involve her. Jenny is kind of a dick.

Let's see, what else made me angry? It's set in Bristol, where I was born, where I live and the descriptions are awful. She just names places. Like she's trying to prove she knows them. The folding of a tea towel is described more in depth than where anything actually is. If you don't know the city and surrounding area, prepare for some vague descriptions.

Who names two related characters Ted and Ed?

As I've mentioned, I love plot twists, I've read a lots of books with twists and I'm a little immune to them. A good twist is simple 'you've assumed this but actually THIS!'. The twist in the the book reads like 'remember this person? Well they did this to do this so this would happen then they would this to them!' It's not shocking so much as making you feel like, at this point, you no longer care.

The ending is unsatisfying, the police come across as very stupid and incompetent and a lot of formally important plot points are dropped like hot potatoes.

Not one of the characters was appealing to me other than maybe Bertie, the dog. One star because I finished it and Bertie was compelling.
Profile Image for Malia.
Author 6 books550 followers
August 28, 2017
I was quite excited when my copy of this book finally arrived, after having read such good things about it for a while. It starts of very intriguingly, with Naomi, a fifteen-year-old girl, disappearing without a trace. The story is told from the past and the present by Jenny, the mother, who is unable to fathom a world without her youngest child. The premise of the story is tragic and moving at once, and I was pulled in quickly. For about the first half, I thought I would happily give the book four stars, unfortunately, the story kind of went off track (for me at least), and lost some momentum. It became a little tedious, and the ending was downright annoying.
Jenny was not acting the way I wanted her too in this situation (okay, I admit this is my issue, not Shemilt's fault;-) And though I sympathized with her situation, I did not warm to her as a character very much.
Shemilt, however, is a good writer, who crafted a well-written story. The issues I had were not with her style or logic, but with the characters and the ending.
I understand this was her debut, which is rather exciting. I am curious to see what she comes up with next.

Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com
Profile Image for Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews.
1,914 reviews271 followers
February 6, 2017
*3.5 stars
Jane Shemilt’s debut novel Daughter has been billed as a thriller about a teenage girl’s disappearance. I would have to say this book is best described as a family drama, with a measured dose of suspense, centered around fifteen year old Naomi Malcolm’s disappearance. Daughter is also a thought provoking read, raising questions around the concept of whether or not you truly know you loved ones.

The bulk of Daughter is told from the perspective of Jenny Malcolm, the mother of the missing young girl Naomi. The Malcolm’s are a middle class family, leading comfortable lives, headed by two very successful doctors. Jenny and Ted are passionate and hardworking in their careers, leaving their three children, twins Ed and Theo and daughter Naomi to their own devices. This is their downfall, as one night, their beloved and innocent daughter Naomi fails to come home after a play rehearsal. The narrative shifts back and forth, between the days leading up to Naomi’s disappearance, through to the time of the disappearance and a year or so later. Jenny’s relentless quest to never give up on finding her daughter, stemmed both love and guilt, leads her to a dramatic conclusion. This culminates into a bed of secrets, lies and betrayals that are revealed, coming from Naomi, as well as her husband and twin sons.

I have heard good things about this debut novel. Daughter was also a recommended read through the Richard and Judy book club, a site I follow closely, despite living in Australia. I was excited to read this novel, but at the same time, I had that horrible feeling at the pit of my stomach as I read the opening pages. I do find stories that focus on cases of missing teenage girls never seem to end well. Added to this was my own angst that as a mother of two children, a missing child of any age is literally any parent’s worst nightmare. Shemilt takes this terrible situation and builds a narrative that is both unexpected and climatic.

Daughter is a book that surprised me in a number of ways. Firstly, I was expecting a fast paced thriller, focussing on the daughter of the story. Rather, Daughter is more about the mother in the story, Jenny’s journey. Daughter is a slow reveal style mystery novel that focuses on a mother’s critical examination of her choices, parenting and perception of her children. Daughter also rips apart the construct of a seemingly perfect looking family on the outset, exposing an interior filled with lies, betrayals and bad choices. I know as parents, we tend to view our children as the apple of our eyes but when this notion is turned on its head, as Jenny discovers through Naomi’s disappearance, it is unsettling. Shemilt does a very good job as a debut novelist of getting deep inside a parent’s mind experiencing the guilt over the loss of a child. It is not an easy situation to transfer on page but Shemilt succeeds in this area.

Daughter is a well plotted novel. The information pertaining to Naomi disappearance, her associations with various family and friends is carefully revealed by Shemilt. The structure of the novel is told in flashback style. I did have a problem with the split narrative style and multiple time frames, at times the shifts did not seem completely smooth and I found it hard to keep up. I was forced to re-read the book at points, just to make sure I knew where I was time wise in the story and that I didn’t miss anything. When I reached the conclusion, it really floored me. I did not expect it all. The ending seemed to raise even more questions about the characters, events and choices made in the novel but I came away feeling ok about this once I left the book. However, a word of warning, if you do not like clear cut endings, this book may frustrate you!

Much more than a simple case of a teen girl’s disappearance, Daughter is an introspective book on understanding your loved ones at a time of crisis. I would recommend this solid debut novel if you enjoy mystery based books, revolving around family.
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,430 reviews992 followers
July 15, 2014
So I’ve read some great family dramas with a mystery twist recently and this one was an excellent and addictive example of why I love these sorts of stories when they are done well.

In “Daughter”, when Naomi fails to return from her school play, her family is thrust into the limelight of a nationwide search and an emotional turmoil that knows no bounds. As the story evolves between the days leading up to Naomi going missing, the immediate aftermath, then a year later, we get a realistic and emotive snapshot of how even in the closest of families, there are secrets kept hidden.

I thought this was marvellously constructed with Ms Shemilt walking the line between illiciting an emotional response and keeping the story flowing along – as the personalities of the players begins to solidify and take shape this is one of those character driven novels that make you feel as if you know the people. You feel the sorrow and the anguish, the hope and the fear and all the emotions inbetween as Jenny searches desperately for the truth whilst trying to help her other children come to terms with their loss and keeping her own head. As the family begins to fracture it is compelling stuff.

The mystery element – what happened to Naomi and why – is also extremely well drawn. By using the timeslip and the character development to tell the tale rather than relying on sudden twists and turns, the reader is kept connected to the story the whole of the way through, immersed into the events and feelings of each moment in time. Once I was halfway through I barely put it down until the ending which was poignant and perfect. A tale that will stay with me for a while.

Overall a brilliant and evocative story which comes highly recommended from me.

Happy Reading Folks!
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,014 reviews365 followers
January 15, 2020
A Bomba-Relógio

Trabalho, Marido e Filhos: a Santíssima e Satânica Trindade que é Céu e Inferno de muitas mulheres!

Jane Shemilt, recorrendo a uma ficção onde dá voz a Jenny, apresenta-nos uma forma possível de viver esta intrincada Trindade que , para muitas mulheres , se tem revelado uma Bomba-Relógio pronta a explodir a qualquer instante! 💣
Profile Image for Mafi.
1,108 reviews200 followers
February 28, 2017
Prometia muito mas não cumpriu. Até tive de ler o final duas vezes para ver se tinha percebido bem..


O enredo é contado do seu ponto de vista e Jenny vai-nos relatando aquilo que acha que pode ter acontecido à sua filha. Depressa percebe que não conhece nem Naomi, nem os filhos nem o seu próprio marido como julgava conhecer. No meio disto tudo surge as dúvidas se terá sido uma boa mãe e educadora e a culpa pelo que está a acontecer.

Até a meio do livro, a trama vai seguindo a um ritmo normal ainda com várias peças espalhadas e sem construir um puzzle. Confesso que a este ponto do livro não me estava a sentir muito entusiasmada com a leitura mas à medida em que o livro se vai aproximando do final e as pistas se vão colando umas às outras o livro conseguiu realmente prender-me! Estaria Naomi viva? Morta? Conseguiriam encontrá-la?

Profile Image for Sue.
2,691 reviews170 followers
September 8, 2014
This fabulous book won't be released until June.

I was honoured to be able to read this for the author and publishers Penguin Books (UK)

Where do I start. I've been thinking all afternoon how to write my review as I don't want to give away too many spoilers or the conclusion of the book.

If you are a Mother you will know we all get guilt. Did we do this enough for them, did we look after them properly, is it our fault they did this or that, should I have done things a different way. No ones children are perfect. Its just that some children get into trouble on different levels in life, some because they lie, some because they steal, some because they take drugs, some because they just don't hand their homework in on time.

BUT if you are a working Mum, you can get double guilt. If you have a carer, what then?
Two parents, both in the medical field. Both have very busy demanding jobs, both have a son and a daughter.

The daughter goes missing. She's a teenager. The author does a clever job of flipping back and forward to times before the event she went missing taking up to when the Mother is looking closely for signs that she may have missed. She discovers that she did. Even with her husband there are things that she didn't acknowledge so well. Her son told her she didn't know HIM or his SISTER anymore.

Its very indepth which made me think about myself as a Mom, my kids are grown now, and many a time my daughter used to say "Mum you never listen, I already told you that" and I was a SAHM.

The complex situation of her daughter missing is not as straight forward as it first appears. I loved how the author unravelled it all and got inside the Mums head as they Mum reasoned on things, how she saw things that other's didn't, she read between the lines and not everything was black and white to her. All Mum's can relate to that.

I can't find any other books written by this author, so I am assuming its her debut novel, if it is, my hat goes off to her! if this is the taste of her books then I want more, I so need more.

I was sorry when this book came to an end, I didn't realise I had let out a sigh as I closed my Kindle. I sat and thought about the ending for a little while, it made a great inpact on me.

I really cannot rave about this book enough.

At first it annoyed me for the author to keep going back and forth in time, it wasn't confusing, just annoying in that I had to keep up to pace with the timing, however, once I got my head into why it had to be with this, I was fine with it, it HAD to be done that way, there was no other way, infact, now that I have completed the read, I applaud the way it is written.

Many thanks to Penguin and the author for allowing me to read this most wonderful book.

Look out for it, mark it TO READ on good reads, add it to your WISHLIST on Amazon.
Profile Image for Patty.
271 reviews82 followers
September 21, 2015
Is a mother responsible for everyone's safety and happiness 24/7? Should she see everything going on and intervene before things go to far? If she is too nosy and overbearing the kids won't tell her anything, if she is not involved the kids don't think she cares, how can a mother know what is best? Can we ever really know another person?

I just read an article in People magazine about Terri Roberts, she is the mother of the 32 year old man that went on a killing spree at the Amish School in PA. She said that he left a letter for his wife that he was mad about God taking away their firstborn child that was born premature. They went on to have 2 other children. The mother said, "There was nothing about my son's behavior that ever alluded to anything erratic or crazy." He was 32 years old! WTH? She saw nothing? Okay, don't we want to blame her a little bit and think well there must of been something, you must not of be aware...... That is how this book made me think and feel.

This book is about a young girl, a 15 year old daughter who goes missing, was she raped, murdered, killed, or did she leave on her own? Where is she? The mother starts questioning everything she knew or thought she knew about her daughter, and finds there is much she was not aware of. She begins to analyze everything and blame herself for not being more aware and involved in all of her children and her husbands life. Secrets are exposed about her daughter, her two sons and her husband. Is the life she had a lie? Secrets are dangerous.

I can't image not knowing if my child is alive or dead, it must be a horrible life to live, not knowing.

The book is a little slow, but I don't think if could have been any other way, because she is analyzing everything and that doesn't happen quickly. The story takes place over about a year and a half, going back days before she went missing to over a year after she disappeared. It is a heartbreaking novel about loss, secrets, grief, blame, the perceived responsibilities of the mother, teenagers and hormones, and the expectation of a mothers role according to her children.
Profile Image for Miranda.
85 reviews7 followers
June 13, 2015
I hate, in novels, when teenage children run away or do drugs the blame falls on the mother who works. This book is filled with blame for the mother because she works. She places that blame on herself, her son blames her for not being there, her husband accuses her of not having time. It's crap! My own mother worked my entire life and I and my brother turned out fine. We didn't turn to drugs or run away and now we're both perfectly well adjusted adults with a good relationship with our parents. It's 2015! Let's get over this already.

As for the actual plot and writing in this: it's dreck! I'm not one to spoil so don't look for that here, but if I have to read about the light in the morning outside the cottage's windows one more time...

It's repetitive and rather boring. The husband is an ass. One of the sons is almost non existent. The other needs more help than the daughter that the book is about, but no one really seems to care. The narrator (mom) needs to give herself a break. Her kids suck and maybe that's her fault, but most likely it's her ass husband's.
Profile Image for Kate Taylor.
140 reviews3 followers
December 9, 2014
This book has got two stars only because I quite enjoyed the first half - if it had all been like the second half I'm not sure I could have scored it. The majority of the characters in this book are completely contemptible and any sympathy I might have had for the daughter's predicament was eradicated by what a spoilt brat she came across as. I'm at a loss as to why the children held their mother in such contempt and in some ways it felt like a veiled condemnation of working mothers (couldn't see any other reason for their hostility - ok, she was a bit annoying but not enough to drive her kids to drug addiction and running away). How they find out that the daughter is with gypsies is beyond ridiculous and don't feel anything was explained properly in this book. Grrr.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Dale Harcombe.
Author 14 books298 followers
April 7, 2016
A fifteen year old daughter, Naomi goes missing and the family is left with lots of questions but no answers. It sounds like all the ingredients for a riveting read and that’s what I expected. For me though, it never happened that way. Don’t get me wrong, the book is readable. The problem I felt was the way it kept jumping from the period of Naomi’s disappearance and then to twelve months later. Instead of building tension this technique diffused it.
My other problem was Jenny, the mother. I could not relate to her at all and struggled to feel sympathy for her. She spent lot of time saying how well she knew her daughter and would have known if something was wrong, when in reality she didn’t know any of her three kids at all. When Ed, one of the twins, verbally attacks her at one point, I felt like cheering, agreeing that she was never there for those kids. These factors lessened my enthusiasm for the book. But I wanted to see how it panned out. I kept waiting for the big revelation, so I kept reading.
Then I got to the end. Don’t get me started on what was wrong with that ending. Instead of building to a climax and some earth shattering answer, it limps along and whimpers out. If it had been a book I had bought, I would have thrown it across the room at that point. The rating went down a little further. In my opinion, it left too many holes throughout the plot of questions not answered. Please realise this is a personal reaction. There have been others who have loved this book and found it tension filled. I just wasn’t one of them. It was a shame because the story line initially had such potential.
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,098 reviews2,664 followers
January 29, 2015
Jenny Malcolm worked long hours as a family doctor; her husband Ted was a successful neurosurgeon within a big hospital; twins Theo and Ed were in their final year of study and busy with their own lives; while fifteen year old Naomi was rehearsing for the school play of which she was a big part. Everyone had things to do – the small differences Jenny was noticing with Naomi were fleeting; she put it all down to tiredness from the constant pull and pressures of the play.

But the second to last night of the play, Naomi didn’t come home. She had been going out to dinner with the cast she said – as the hours wore on and there was no sign of Naomi, gradually and with long and drawn out pain and terror, Jenny’s life began to fall apart. As the family waited, as the days, weeks and months passed by, the police investigation couldn’t seem to find any more answers. Naomi had vanished; the anguish and uncertainty were fracturing a once happy family.

Alone at the cottage, Jenny kept looking for answers – gradually she realized that the secrets that were being kept weren’t just by Naomi. Did she even know her family? Suddenly it came to her that she hadn’t known them at all; especially Naomi – her daughter, her beloved child; what had happened to her? And who could she trust?

Daughter is the debut novel by author Jane Shemilt and is written in two time frames - the past when Naomi vanished and twelve months later in the present day. I enjoyed the grittiness and tension of the investigation into her disappearance, and the subsequent conclusion; but the story was choppy and drawn out in my opinion. I feel the flow of the story was continually broken by the “back and forth” nature in which it was written. I felt a little disappointed by the ending as well. That said, I would recommend Daughter if only for the tension of the story alone.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy to read and review.
Profile Image for Javier.
756 reviews191 followers
March 15, 2023
“Una familia casi perfecta” es un drama familiar con dosis de suspense (no es un thriller), que plantea como idea de fondo una interesante cuestión: ¿realmente conoces a tus hijos? ¿hasta qué punto son como tú crees que son?

Jenny tiene una vida aparentemente plena. Trabaja como médico de familia, está casada con un reconocido neurocirujano y es madre de tres adolescentes. Cuando Naomi, su hija de 15 años, no regresa a casa una noche, esa vida perfecta se desmoronará, sacando a la luz una serie de secretos y mentiras que llevarán a Jenny a preguntarse si realmente conocía a su familia.

La historia se desarrolla en dos líneas temporales intercaladas, una de ellas unos días antes de la desaparición y otra un año después. Ambas tratarán de ofrecer respuesta a una única pregunta ¿qué ocurrió la noche en que desapareció Naomi? En mi opinión, el contar la historia de esta forma consigue restarle tensión a la trama, ya que desde el comienzo sabemos que la investigación llevada cabo en el pasado no tuvo ningún resultado. La línea del presente tiene como objetivo básicamente mostrar el impacto que la desaparición de Naomi tuvo en los que la rodeaban, y creo que una narración lineal habría conseguido lo mismo, logrando generar una mayor intriga.

He de confesar que la relación entre Jenny y sus hijos me confundió (y cabreó) bastante, haciendo que no empatizase con ninguno de los personajes y sin llegar a entender el porqué de su comportamiento. ¿Por qué a ella le recriminan una serie de cosas y a su padre no, cuando la manera de actuar de ambos era la misma? Es interesante cómo refleja los diferentes niveles de exigencia e implicación que se piden aún hoy día a hombres y mujeres cuando de criar a los hijos se trata.

El personaje de Jenny me resultó demasiado ingenuo. Aún con todas las pruebas delante, parecía preferir seguir creyendo una mentira, sólo por no ir en contra de la imagen idealizada que tenía de sus hijos en la cabeza. La autora consigue meterse en la mente de una madre y logra transmitir perfectamente el dolor por la pérdida de un hijo, con reflexiones acerca de la maternidad en general, del papel de Jenny como madre y de la culpa que en ocasiones uno se echa encima sin merecerlo.

La resolución me resultó un poco desconcertante, no ya por el final en sí, sino porque no creo que a lo largo de la historia se justificase lo suficiente que ese personaje actuase de esa forma (no puedo elaborar más para evitar spoilers).

Narración pausada y con un carácter más introspectivo, pero que aún así logró mantener mi interés hasta el final, más centrada en reflexionar acerca de las elecciones tomadas en lo que respecta a la crianza de los hijos y la percepción que se tiene de estos, y que destruye el concepto de “familia perfecta” para mostrar todas las mentiras y secretos que pueden esconderse bajo una apariencia idílica.
Profile Image for Shelleyrae at Book'd Out.
2,456 reviews513 followers
January 4, 2015

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.
Profile Image for Joanna Scott.
30 reviews
September 22, 2014
Disappointed and incredulous. I actually felt sorry for the mother and father in this book as their children Naomi, Ed and Theo were painted as sullen, crotchety brats yet mother ran round after them. When the girl disappeared I couldn't care less what happened to her and the end of the book proves my point. What a thoughtless, hard and cruel wee madam. I feel sorry for Jenny and I liked Mary and the the dog Bertie but beyond that......
Profile Image for Lucia Nieto Navarro .
739 reviews161 followers
March 2, 2023
Cuando empecé a leer este libro, mas o menos sabia lo que me iba a esperar, un libro entretenido, un libro de misterio ágil para pasar un buen rato.
La trama, muy común en estos libros, comienza con la desaparición de Naomi, y sus padres inmediatamente empiezan a buscarla. Después de un tiempo buscando no hay ni rastro de ella, ¿Qué ha pasado? ¿Se la llevaron? ¿Se ha fugado ella?
Tras un año, su madre no se ha dado por vencida, cuestiona todo lo que creía saber de su hija y de todos los miembros de su familia, todo el mundo parece que guarda secretos...
El libro alterna las semanas previas a la desaparición de Naomi por un lado y por otro tras un año de su desaparición. La trama en si, esta bien, es entretenido y se lee de una manera muy ágil, pero no he conectado con prácticamente ningún personaje, los hijos son extremadamente duros y pasotas, otros prácticamente no tienen ni voz ni voto, y las acciones de la protagonista y el por qué de que hace todo lo que hace es … bastante ¿confuso?
Es verdad que el final no me lo esperaba, pero tampoco fue un gran final. Un libro entretenido que te hace reflexionar… ¿Conocemos completamente a las personas que están a nuestro lado? ¿Se puede tener todo en esta vida? ¿Existen las familias perfectas?
Profile Image for Učitaj se!.
666 reviews107 followers
February 7, 2017
Jenny Malcolm je liječnica, supruga, slikarica, majka troje djece. Jenny živi naizgled savršenim životom, koji se uzdrma iz temelja na večer u kojoj njena kći, Naomi, nestane.

Nakon Naomina nestanka, Jenny se počinje prisjećati svake sitnice, svake sitne promjene u Naominom ponašanju, koju je kod nje bila otpisala na račun umora zbog sudjelovanja u školskoj predstavi, a koje su, očito, bile i znakovi nečeg drugog. A što se više detalja o noći nestanka jedan za drugim otkrivaju, Jenny polako shvaća da postoji mogućnost da svoju vlastitu kći možda i nije poznavala onako dobro kao što je to mislila.

'Kći' započne napeto, glavnim događajem - Naominim nestankom, i onako, isprve, čini se da će ovo biti zbilja napet i zanimljiv triler. Nažalost, uskoro se ispostavi da to ipak baš i neće biti.

Naomin nestanak centralni je događaj oko kojeg se vrte svi ostali događaji u ovoj knjizi, čiji je vremenski tijek označen brojem dana 'prije' ili 'poslije' u odnosu na nestanak. I dok se u prvoj četvrtini knjige radnja odvija donekle brzo i dosta detalja vezanih uz Naomi nam se otkriva, nakon te početne četvrtine radnja znatno uspori, čak gotovo stane, da bi se ponovno ubrzala tek nekoliko stranica prije samog kraja knjige.

Taj bi se početak i kraj još mogli nazvati kakvim-takvim trilerom, ali sve ono između su samo nasumce razbacane Jennyne misli i sjećanja, iz kojih proizlazi stvarni fokus ovog romana: gubitak. Jenny se nikako ne može pomiriti s gubitkom Naomi, on joj zaokuplja svaki sat svakog dana i ona se ne prestaje, čak ni nakon što prođu dugi mjeseci bez ikakvog traga, nadati da će se Naomi samo tako vratiti i sve će opet biti dobro. Jennyna bol, njena tuga i njena nada sasvim su razumljivi, a gubitak koji osjeća u njenom je životu stvorio tako veliku rupu da je posve nesposobna nastaviti dalje sa životom. Jenny u biti cijelo vrijeme čeka: kraj, razrješenje, povratak Naomi, i ne usudi se napraviti niti koraka dalje dok to ne dočeka. Svatko tko je ikada nekoga izgubio ne može ne suosjećati s njom i njezinom boli.

Ipak, ne sjećam se kada me neki lik u tolikoj mjeri naživcirao kao Jenny. Prije no što je nestala, Naomi je pokazivala niz znakova koji su nagoviještali da se s njom nešto događa, a na sve je te znakove Jenny samo odlučno zatvarala oči i samoj sebi izmišljala razloge zašto se Naomi ponaša kako se ponaša. Istu je stvar napravila i s ostalim članovima svoje obitelji, svaki put kad bi umorom opravdavala činjenicu da je njen sin, Ed, vječno bijesan, i njen suprug, Ted, vječno odsutan mislima, prezaposlen i nezainteresiran. A osim toga, sumnjam da ijedna majka, nakon što joj nestane dijete, pomisli da je dobra ideja spetljati se s policajcem koji vodi istragu o njenoj nestaloj kćeri. Svako početno suosjećanje koje sam imala prema Jenny isparilo je kad sam ju zaista upoznala - kao potpuno flegmatičnu i apatičnu osobu koja je toliko usmjerena na samu sebe da ne vidi ni ono što joj je ravno pred nosom.

Tu dolazimo i do pitanja koje ova knjiga neizravno postavlja svim roditeljima: poznajete li zaista vlastitu djecu i koliko mislite da ih poznajete? Jenny je bila uvjerena da svoju kći poznaje bolje od ikoga, no kraju se ispostavilo da ju nije poznavala ništa više od bilo kojeg potpunog stranca. Pomalo vam dođe da se zapitate, zar ne?

Priča iznesena u ovom romanu u cjelini bila mi je ok, ali previše mi je tu praznog hoda, izrazito spore radnje i antipatičnih likova da bih mogla reći i da mi se svidjela. Osim antipatične Jenny i cijele njene antipatične obitelji (izuzev Thea), te nedostatka ikakve napetosti i pomaka u radnji na dugom nizu stranica, glavni nedostatak ove priče je motiv, odnosno nepostojanje istog - ne motiva zločina, nego motiva Naomi, nekog objašnjenja svih njenih postupaka. Zašto je Naomi radila sve što je radila prije nestanka i koji su njeni motivi da se ponašala tako kako se ponašala, nigdje nije objašnjeno. A s obzirom da se radi o djevojci koja je voljena i od obitelji i od prijatelja, ne vidim nikakav razlog koji bi objasnio neke od njenih postupaka. Također ne vidim ni ikakvu svrhu Jamesa u cijeloj priči, posve je nebitan i bespotreban.

Za mene, ovom romanu nedostaje ključni dio - motivacija iza ponašanja njegovih likova, a prije svega tu mislim na Naomi. Bez tog ključnog dijela, roman ostaje samo poludovršeni triler, krimić bez smisla, priča bez ideje. Kada vam je ispričano što se dogodilo i tko je kriv za to što se dogodilo, ali ne i zašto se to dogodilo (odnosno ne u potpunosti zašto), sve nekako pada u vodu. Šteta, bilo je tu puno potencijala za bolje. Ovako, ovo je samo još jedan tek prosječan roman o gubitku u kojem je najveći gubitak taj vašeg vremena i živaca da ga pročitate.
Profile Image for erigibbi.
807 reviews659 followers
November 10, 2017
Dal mio BLOG www.erigibbi.it

Jenny è un medico, sposata con un famoso neurochirurgo e madre di tre adolescenti. Una famiglia all’apparenza perfetta che si sgretola quando Naomi, la figlia quindicenne, una sera non torna a casa.

A un anno dalla sparizione Jenny non si arrende: sta ancora cercando di scoprire che fine ha fatto sua figlia. Attraverso questa ricerca scoprirà che Naomi era molto diversa da come pensava che fosse.

La narrazione si svolge in due archi temporali e spaziali: il passato (2009, anno della scomparsa di Naomi) è ambientato a Bristol mentre il presente (2010) è ambientato nel Dorset; la narratrice è proprio Jenny, la madre di Naomi.

Se devo essere sincera Jenny non mi è piaciuta. È una donna in carriera che pensa solo al lavoro e non si rende conto dei bisogni e dell’esistenza dei suoi figli. Non metto in dubbio che dei figli adolescenti siano difficili da comprendere e a volte è difficile anche comunicare con loro ma Jenny si rifiuta di farlo, procrastina ogni giorno perché è troppo stanca, perché ha del lavoro da fare, perché ha il suo hobby da portare avanti o perché non pensa sia il giorno giusto.

Nel momento in cui si rende conto che i suoi figli non sono perfetti come credeva secondo me reagisce in modo troppo razionale, quasi distaccato. Pianifica tutto quello che c’è da fare per sistemare il problema ma non pensa di parlare con loro, di parlare a loro e per di più fa molta fatica a prendersi le sue responsabilità.

Come nei romanzi rosa ci sono ormai dei tipici cliché, mi è sembrato che anche nei thriller ce ne siano. Anche in questo romanzo infatti la protagonista lavora tantissimo, semra avere una famiglia perfetta che in realtà perfetta non è, ha un marito praticamente assente per via del lavoro, i figli si chiudono un po’ alla volta in se stessi e improvvisamente da amorevoli diventano scontrosi e costantemente arrabbiati e ovviamente la protagonista si rende conto troppo tardi che non ha seguito la sua famiglia in modo adeguato.

Ce lo avrebbe detto? Le strade scorrevano fuori dal finestrino, piene di persone che non erano Naomi. Mentre le osservavo camminare lungo i marciapiedi, vive e libere, mi resi conto che non l’avevo appena persa; forse l’avevo persa molto prima che scomparisse e non sapevo più chi fosse.

Si tratta di una mia impressione o nei thriller ci sono spesso queste componenti?

Lo stile di scrittura è buono ma di per sé ho trovato la narrazione troppo pesante soprattutto nelle parti ambientate nel presente: mi sono sembrate meno interessanti, più noiose rispetto alle parti ambientate nel passato, inerenti la scomparsa della ragazza.

Il finale è stato abbastanza inaspettato ma non mi ha sconvolto come probabilmente avrebbe dovuto fare. Quello che più mi ha sconvolto è stato il comportamento di Naomi. Naomi ha solo 15 anni e mi sembra difficile credere che nella vita reale una ragazzina di 15 anni possa comportarsi come ha fatto lei all’interno del libro. Sembra un comportamento creato ad hoc per la storia, finto.

In sintesi, sicuramente volevo sapere che fine avesse fatto Naomi: è morta? L’hanno rapita? Se n’è andata volontariamente? Può essere ancora viva?

Purtroppo però non mi sono sentita molto coinvolta e non provavo nemmeno la spinta a continuare a leggere senza staccarmi. Chiudevo il libro molto tranquillamente, nonostante la curiosità.

Considerando questo, trovo che come thriller Una famiglia quasi perfetta di Jane Shemilt non sia il massimo ma non sia nemmeno da buttare.
Profile Image for Tempo de Ler.
729 reviews95 followers
February 13, 2016
O início de A Filha Desaparecidacoloca-nos logo no centro da história: o misterioso desaparecimento de Naomi de apenas 15 anos.

Os desenvolvimentos são narrados pela mãe de Naomi, Jenny. Médica, esposa e mãe de três filhos adolescentes, Jenny luta contra a dificuldade de conciliar a vida profissional com a pessoal, acabando por negligenciar ligeiramente ambas.

Por ser na primeira pessoa, a narrativa permite-nos acompanhar o sofrimento e desespero de Jenny bem de perto. Embora o presente se situe um ano após o desaparecimento de Naomi, Jenny recua à época do mesmo, recapitulando todos os pormenores, procurando alguma pista, tentando perceber o que poderia ter feito de diferente, em que é que devia ter reparado...

Gradualmente, Jenny dá-nos a conhecer a sua família, os erros que cada um cometeu, envolvendo-nos cada vez mais na história, interessados não apenas no mistério que rodeia Naomi mas também se haverá recuperação possível para esta família; se os laços que os uniam poderão ser remendados.

Naturalmente, Jenny acaba por se culpar por não ter estado mais atenta ou por não ter intervido quando poderia ter feito alguma diferença. Ao acompanhá-la nas suas reminiscência sobre o passado, percebemos como andava ocupada e preocupada com o emprego, como o desinteresse e falta de apoio por parte do marido acabaram por a sobrecarregar ainda mais.

Jane Shemilt debruça-se sobre a confiança e expectativas que existem entre pais e filhos, os segredos que ambas as partes conservam e as mentiras que perpetram para os conservar. Jenny - e nós - chega lentamente à conclusão que não conhece realmente as pessoas que vivem debaixo do mesmo teto que ela.

... E depois temos o final em que o livro colapsou, para mim, numa enorme desilusão e alguma frustração. Ao longo do livro a falta de acção foi sendo largamente compensada pelo meu interesse na resolução do mistério, mas as expectativas que Shemilt foi criando acabaram por ficar longe de se verem correspondidas.
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283 reviews
January 5, 2016
Jedna od onih knjiga koje ne prestaješ čitati jer ne možeš nikako naći dobar trenutak za prestati . Radnja i napetost ne prestaju nego nas svako poglavlje ostavlja sa novim upitnicima . Jednostavno odlična .
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