Friday, 14 August 2015

Book Review - The Daughter's Secret by Eva Holland

The Daughter's Secret
The Daughter's Secret by Eva Holland
Published: 13th August 2015
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 320
Available on Kindle and in Paperback
My daughter is a liar. A liar, liar, liar. And I'm starting to see where she gets it from.

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?
The Daughter’s Secret tells the story of Stephanie Simm, of her abduction when she was fifteen by her geography teacher Nathan Temperley and how her and her family coped in the aftermath on her return to her family. Now six years later all their emotions and secrets are brought back as Nathan Temperley is set to be released, in just eleven days’ time. I found Eva Holland’s debut novel to be well written, gripping and very thought provoking
The story is told through the eyes of Rosalind, Stephanie’s somewhat neurotic mother, a woman who has led a very comfortable life and up until Stephanie’s disappearance had no reason to be so paranoid about life, except that she was about everything. Ros was not a character I could totally warm too, I really wanted to as I myself have bouts of anxiety but she just seemed fixated on bad things happening all around her, like suitcases falling from the sky and buses not being safe enough to travel on, so much so it’s kind of no wonder Stephanie ran away. When she learns of Nathan Temperley’s release she goes into overdrive wanting to protect Stephane but I felt it was also an excuse to let her paranoia run wild causing even more friction within her family.
Dan, the husband, I found more interesting as he seems to be disconnected to his family with his own secrets. He’s happy just placing them in the perfect house and then going off to work without considering if they are actually happy. I felt he had some kind perfectly planned out life and he can never quite forgive Stephanie for ruining it and showing the world their imperfections. Dan wants his problems to go away and that means Stephanie and her problems must be sent away either to boarding school or to rehab, so she can’t ruin the perfect picture of the stable happy family which he wants the outside world to see.
Stephanie herself seemed a girl who is longing for approval and acceptance and goes along with Temperley because he is giving her what she is craving from her home life but isn’t getting from her distant parents.  I felt sad for her that she is still heavy with guilt and isn’t able to completely let Temperley out of her life once her ordeal I is over and so longed for her to find peace.
I enjoyed reading this debut novel very much and I loved the structure with the chapters being split into the days leading up to Temperley’s release. Each day getting slightly longer in length as the tension this news is causing builds up between the members of the Simm family until finally it explodes. I thought this was brilliant and really added to the way the story gripped me, with a slow start and then getting more intense until I couldn’t put this book down.
Although I really enjoyed this novel and found the ending to be satisfactory I still felt there were a lot of unanswered questions as to what happened next for the family and I think personally I would have liked an epilogue to answer some of the questions. This has meant though that I have kept thinking about this book after I had finished reading it, which makes it an ideal book club choice as there is plenty to discuss. I would give this book 4 out of 5 and would like to thank Orion the publishers for sending me a copy to review.

No comments:

Post a Comment