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Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Book Review of Daughter by Jane Shemilt

**** A very good book, which is hard to put down.


I am a recent convert to thrillers and still wouldn’t be a huge fan, so this book was a bit of a gamble.

I’ve always been a big reader and would have read believable fiction when I was younger and this graduated up to light chick lit when I was in college, because a lot of my college reading for New Media & English was fairly heavy going and now I’m really into thought provoking and involved fiction, but will also read non-fiction, fantasy (to an extent) and now crime thrillers, apparently.

I have a deep disdain for the term page turner in reviews, so I won’t be using that here, because I believe that to be the most fundamental of elements to any book – even if it’s complete crap, you can still literally turn the pages.

This book will haunt people and particularly parents, as it makes you question your very own moral compass and the core of your being, as you start to unwittingly question every move you’ve ever made with your child, every time they’ve said they are at a friend’s and every time you’ve left an argument hang in the air to fester and morph into something uglier with the passage of time.

The author develops an entire story around the ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’ and it is truly terrifying.

The story begins as every good story does, with the mundane and the ordinary and then it skips between the night of Naomi’s disappearance and one year later in the present – weaving an unsettling tale of intrigue, loss, desperation and the unyielding will of a parent to never give up on their child.

“They have a picture. It’ll help. But it doesn’t show the way her hair shines so brightly it looks like sheets of gold. She smells very faintly of lemons. She bites her nails. She never cries. She loves Autumn, I wanted to tell them. She collects leaves, like a child does. She is just a child.” If this sentence drew you in, this is just a flavour of what is contained within the story.

After a year, Naomi is still missing and the Malcolm family has been torn apart, but will the truth bring them closer together and reunite them all or will it drive a further wedge between them?

There are a lot of unanswered questions, but in a good way and the book brings up a lot of family and personal dilemma situations and it would make a great choice for a book club, as the potential for discussion and debate is almost endless.


This book is available from Jim Hyland’s General and Educational bookshop on 22 Lower Cork Street, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork for €8.99. For more information or to avail of a special discount in association with this blog, please call in store, ring 022 24528, email and quote Quinn’s Quandries when purchasing. Happy frantic page turning and tea drinking (wine if it’s the evening or it’s a chilly Winter’s day).

A quick guide to Quinn’s Quandries star ratings;

***** A book so good, you don’t just read it, it takes over your life and you tell everyone you meet to read it immediately.

**** A very good book, which is hard to put down.

*** A decent read, but nothing to get too excited about.

** It would help you to pass away a few hours.

* Wouldn’t bother reading all of it.


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