Thursday, 13 August 2015

The Daughter's secret - Eva Holland - an excellent debut

The Publishers Blurb:

When Rosalind's fifteen-year-old daughter, Stephanie, ran away with her teacher, this ordinary family became something it had never asked to be. Their lives held up to scrutiny in the centre of a major police investigation, the Simms were headline news while Stephanie was missing with a man who was risking everything.

Now, six years on, Ros takes a call that will change their lives all over again. He's going to be released from prison. Years too early. In eleven days' time.

As Temperley's release creeps ever closer, Ros is forced to confront the events that led them here, back to a place she thought she'd left behind, to questions she didn't want to answer. Why did she do it? Where does the blame lie? What happens next?

My thoughts - an excellent debut novel

Recently I've read rather a lot of Domestic Noir dramas/ psychological chillers, which is where I'd place this excellent debut novel. Some have been greatly applauded by others yet I haven't warmed to them at all, some have deserved and lived up to the hype, while others have been stunning in their twisty simplicity and sheer cunningness feeling like a real discovery, and I've loved them.

I'm pleased to announce that this falls firmly into the "LOVED it" category for the sheer readability, strong characters and easy to follow yet gripping storyline. It's full of "there but for the grace of God go I" situations, where you try and work out how you'd feel and react in that position and even though I rather disliked the main protagonist Ros I'm sure if I had a teenage daughter who'd been abducted by her teacher I too would be a neurotic wreck ....(will the person who knows me and said I AM, please keep quiet.)

Rosalind has a privileged life, a beautiful home in the wealthiest part of town, plenty of disposable income and the perfect sub nuclear family - a husband and two grown children one girl, one boy. But her life went sour 6 years ago when her, then just 15 year old daughter Stephanie, went missing and her carefully constructed world began to fall apart. 6 years have passed and we know Steph has returned to the family fold, but the unexpected discovery that the schoolteacher who lured her away, having served his sentence for child abduction is due to be released from prison early, bringing to the surface thoughts, worries and secrets which have remained buried until now.

Rosalind is a complex character with some wonderfully written neuroses and character quirks and flaws. I love the way she faces every event by pre-empting every possible disaster and unlikely scenario which might go wrong to the point of creating totally ridiculous catastrophes and allowing her obsession to overtake her life. Even more than this I loved the slightly tongue in cheek recipes for revenge she conjures up and imagines, knowing she is never likely to act on them just allows her to be even more creative and original in dreaming up imaginary punishmnent for those who have harmed her and her family, I found some of them pretty amusing. Steph is a rather selfish mess, having inherited some of her mothers phobias and faults and grown a whole new load of her own in addition.

The intricate story jumps back and forth between then and now but this never makes it a difficult book to follow. I really enjoyed the look inside this fractured families life and breathed a sigh of relief that I'm not living it. It's cleverly and beautifully written and I thoroughly appreciated reading it. My thanks to Netgalley for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for my thoughts.

It's published today 13th August 2015 and can be purchased now. 

1 comment:

  1. Great to see this debut novel here at last - what a thrill it must have been to win the contest. Pleased to meet you too, Jan Lambert :)


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