BOOK REVIEW | Daughter by Jane Shemilt

Sunday, November 09, 2014

One November night Naomi Malcolm doesn't return home to her parents after a school theatre performance in which she played the main role. Her parents start to worry, they contact friends and finally the police. The search after the 15 year old missing girl begins and it will tear the family apart.

I picked this book up because I did what you're not supposed to do, I judged it by its cover! It looked like a compelling read, the short summary on the back was cryptic enough for me to really want to find out what happened and I couldn't wait to get home to start reading it. The entire story is told from the mum Jenny's perspective. She's a GP, married to a surgeon and mother of three children, the twins Ed and Theo and the youngest Naomi. They are a seemingly perfect family with a nice house in Bristol. Each chapter of this book is divided in two parts, one telling the story of the night of the disappearance as well as a couple of days before and after it happened so you see the horror the family has to go through unfold and the other is set one year/ 13 months after the disappearance. I think that was such a good idea because it allowed you to play detective in a way that the characters from the book couldn't, as every time you return back to the night it happened and the start of the investigation you know just a little bit more of what was going to happen and how it would ruin the family life of the Malcolms. I read this book within two days because I just couldn't put it down and I really got sucked into the story and felt like I couldn't get on with my life without knowing what happened to Naomi! Isn't that all you could ever want from a book?

However I have some reservations about this book that are difficult to tell you about without giving too much away. First of all I'd like to point out that I personally don't like the ending of the book. Now this is something I always worry about when reading crime stories: Will all my questions be answered in the end or is it one of those dreadful cliff hanger ends that leave you wondering about what actually happened til the end of time? If you worry about that as well, fear not, 'daughter' is not one of them books! It will be clear to you in the end what happened it's just that the ending seems a bit, well - for the sake of giving nothing away - weird! What's more, Naomi disappears in 2009, she's a 15 year old girl but nowhere in the entire book is there a mention of Social Media. I think realistically Naomi would have had a Facebook profile that would maybe have given the police a better idea about who she was. Don't get me wrong, the story works with or without Social Media, it just struck me as odd to leave out the existence of it so completely. 

All these reservations aside, I loved reading this book! And if you're a fan of a good crime story than you might want to give it a read too. Maybe what I didn't like about the ending is exactly your cup of tea? I definitely enjoyed this book a lot! I liked how the main character (Jenny, the mum) was no hero figure but actually rather unlikable. While I definitely felt sorry for her at times for what she has to go through I often also just found her very annoying and couldn't help but feel like she got what she deserved with her children. It is clear from the beginning of the book that she doesn't know her children at all as well as she thinks she does. And her annoying habit of not listening (or not wanting to hear?) really REALLY annoyed me at times. But that's what a memorable character needs I think.

So, now it's time you make up your own minds about this book. Even though it has a few flaws I definitely recommend it to you crime story lovers out there. If you read it already let me know what you thought about it! Let's discuss the ending! Let's be one big book group! :)

Jess x

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6 Kommentare

  1. Oh wow what a great review! :) I'm going to look this book up in the library right now! Thank you for this post, you have a new follower :)


    1. Thank you Miriam!! Hope you like it :) xx

  2. Great review! Maybe the author of the book is old, or it is set in like the 1990's lol!

    Love from Canada,
    Marie from

    Please check out my latest post!

    1. Thank you lovely! Haha it is in fact set in 2009 that's why I found it a bit weird to leave it out so completely.. however I have no idea how old the author is so maybe you're right ;) xx

  3. Totally agree! The ending annoyed me so much I can't even explain! And I didn't think about social media until now but that is such a good point - the first thing the police would do is seize her laptop and check through social media. Other than that though - I did enjoy it!

    Beth x

    1. Right? The ending was super annoying but I still loved reading the book :) x