It is my great pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for The Daughter by Lucy Dawson. Thanks to Kim Nash of Bookouture for inviting me to be a part of the tour. This is a fantastic read which brings out a whole myriad of emotions, but before I tell you why, lets take a look at what the book is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
You lost your daughter. You will never forgive yourself. Now someone’s determined to make you pay…
Seventeen years ago, something happened to Jess’s daughter Beth. The memory of it still makes her blood run cold. Jess has tried everything to make peace with that day, and the part she played in what happened. It was only a brief moment of desire… but she’ll pay for it with a lifetime of guilt.
To distance herself from the mistakes of the past, Jess has moved away and started over with her family. But when terrifying things begin happening in her new home, Jess knows that her past has finally caught up with her. Somebody feels Jess hasn’t paid enough, and is determined to make her suffer for the secrets she’s kept all these years.
Man. This book. I tell you what, when I start to read a book which looks to be a kind of domestic-come-psyhcological thriller style of book, I don’t quite expect my emotions to be so totally amnipulated from the off. That is exactly what happens with The Daughter, the brilliant new thriller from Lucy Dawson. The book opens in the voice of young Beth, a girl much like any other, playing at school during break time, her whole future ahead of her. And yet it is amazing how quickly things can change. In just a few short paragraphs you get a feeling for the young child, a feeling cemented as the point of view changes to her mother, Jess, herself only very young and seemingly a little overwhelmed. We follow them on that fateful morning, when Jess takes Beth to school, starting a chain of events which will change everything.
I have to be honest, by just a few short chapters in I was so in shock, so overcome by what had happened, that I wasn’t sure quite how this was going to turn around from a tragic family tale of loss into a harder thriller with a real edge and yet it did. So quickly and effectively that I was hooked from the very beginning until the turn of the last page.
The bulk of the action takes place many years after the tragic loss of Beth, and as first I wasn’t sure if I would take to Jess. Her actions at the start of the book seem almost selfish and yet there is also a clear sense of sacrifice in what she does. Whatever her motives, she has moved on with her life, now a mother once more and in a new relationship with Ed and everything seems to be going really well. Until one day it isn’t. A name from the past comes back to haunt her and suddenly everything that she ran from seems to have been brought ever closer. I love the way that the author slowly feeds in these revelations, making you wonder how much of it is Jess’s imagination and how much reality. There has always been something a little … different about Jess, not that she would ever admit it, but even by her standards these new coincidences are a bit much.
There is a kind of otherworldliness to the plot at times, with things happening around the home that you are never quite clear if they are deliberate sabotage or something less tangible, or perhaps more spectral, with many things bringing Jess back to the fateful day that she lost Beth. It is slightly creepy and unnerving and Lucy Dawson has done a great job of letting the tension build and letting the question of Jess’s sanity hang in the air, with even those she loves and trusts perhaps doubting her a little.
Despite there being a perhaps reasons not to, I really liked the character of Jess. I could kind of identify with her struggles and the sense of her grief and guilt is palpable as you read through the passages. But she seems far more settled in the latter years, her relationship with Ed far more grounded and much stronger than that of her first marriage. And Ed is a great character to get to know too, fiercely protective of his family and highly suspicious of the people from Jess’s past. They share everything, all of her doubts and fears and this is a pairing which can stand almost anything, which is good because they are going to need to.
While some of the revelations weren’t entirely unexpected, and I did manage to deduce one of the key reveals very early on, there were still plenty of shocks to be had and moments in which I could feel my eyebrows raise in complete surprise. Certainly there are elements to the story which, once revealed, are capable of making the skin crawl. This is a story of obsession, revenge, loss and regrets. Of new beginnings and second chances. Of betrayal and of unrelenting and undying love. Of the ultimate sacrifices which are made for family. But first and foremost it is a cracking good read which had me hooked from the off, and one which is highly recommended.
My thanks to publisher Bookouture for the advance copy of the book for review. It is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Bestselling author Lucy Dawson has had six books published, and her work has been translated into numerous languages. Lucy read Psychology at Warwick University before working as a magazine editor. She now writes full time and lives in Devon with her husband and children.
Make sure to check out the rest of the blogs taking part in the tour.