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How Far We Fall By Jane Shemilt

How Far We Fall ‘How Far We Fall’ is the latest book by Jane Shemilt.

Meeting Albie gave Beth a fresh start – a chance to leave her past behind. Now she has her new husband; an ambitious, talented young neurosurgeon. Their marriage gives Beth the safe haven she’s always wanted – with just one catch. Albie has no idea of the secrets she’s keeping. He doesn’t know that years ago, Beth had an affair with Ted, the boss helping Albie’s star ascend. Nor that the affair’s devastating ending will have consequences for their own future. So when Ted’s generous patronage begins to sour, Beth senses everything she’s built could crumble. And she sees an opportunity. To satisfy Albie’s ambitions, and her own obsessive desire for revenge. She’ll keep her marriage and her secret safe. But how far will the fall take them?

I’ve been spending the last few days reading this book and I must it’s quite an intense story that regularly made for interesting reading. The book is primarily seen through the eyes of married couple Albie and Beth. Albie is a hard working surgeon who’s determined to find a cure for cancer, after seeing so many children suffer for the terrible illness whilst his wife Beth, is content in life, no longer a theatre nurse, enjoys the time in their garden.

Between Albie and his boss, Ted they have potentially found a cure, but when Ted takes the credit for Albie’s hard work, this stirs something in Albie. Albie is hurt at this, as Ted was not only his mentor but also a close friend and finds himself unable to move forward and with Beth’s encouragement does something that will jeopardise everything. Unknown to Albie, Beth has history with Ted and it’s through their perspectives of the story that we see different reasons for their actions and also the consequences.

For the majority of this book, I enjoyed reading it, it’s dark and complex with a clever plotline. But in some parts, I found it a bit difficult as there is a quite a lot of medical jargon and procedures in it and sometimes, I found myself getting a bit lost. There was one scene that was particularly vivid and gruesome in describing an operation.

Both Albie and Beth are great characters, their back stories are interesting particularly Beth, as we see her personality develop throughout the story and she’s not quite the wholesome woman that Albie is led to believe. For me, Beth was my favourite character of the story, she’s strong, opinionated but not in a domineering way. Ted was also quite interesting, as we see his empire and ego tumble down around him.

This is Jane’s second’s book, after the huge success of her first novel, ‘Daughter’ which was another intense thriller about a mother’s quest to find her missing daughter and ‘How Far We Fall’ is just as gripping. A compelling tale riddled with drama and deceit, ‘How Far We Fall’ is a thought provoking tale about morals and just how far a person will go to get revenge.

You can pre-order How Far We Fall from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops from 28th June 2018.

The Drowning Lesson By Jane Shemilt

The Drowning Lesson‘The Drowning Lesson’ is the latest book by Jane Shemilt’

The Jordan family thought they would return from their gap year abroad enriched, better people, a closer family.
Not minus one child. A year on, Emma remains haunted by the image of that empty cot, thousands of miles away, the chasm between her and the rest of the family growing with each day that Sam remains missing. Is her son still out there? Will the mystery about what happened that night ever be unravelled?

When it comes to books by Jane Shemilt, I have a bit of complicated relationship with them, as I initially find them difficult to get into and then when once I get into them, I find them impossible to put down and when I eventually put them down, the difficulty resumes to get back into them. It’s a frustrating cycle.

In her latest book we meet Emma, a woman who decides to give up her career and life in England to move to Africa to support her husband in his career with their three children. It’s during this time away, that their baby Sam is stolen away and they are left to wonder if their defenceless baby is dead or alive.

The story is seen solely through Emma’s narrative and the chapters alternate between the past and present, to the time leading up to Sam’s disappearance.

I found Emma to be a difficult and manipulative character, as she secretly planned her third pregnancy. She’s quite cold in parts and isn’t the most of a maternal parent towards her daughters, which is quite apparent in their relationship. But, as the story progresses, she begins to thaw as she deals with losing her baby.

The story is quite atmospheric and Jane is very vivid with her descriptions, describing the African towns, the poverty and the witchcraft that the townsfolk whisper about, which does make for eerie reading.

The story is primarily about the disappearance of child and how a woman deals with the idea of losing a child, but there is a smaller sub story about Emma and her father. It’s inclusion wasn’t completely clear to me, but it still made for interesting reading as it shaped Emma into the woman that she has become.

With despair and suspense dripping from every page and where everyone is a suspect, ‘The Drowning Lesson’ is a dark and well written story, that is worth the initial struggle of getting into.

You can buy The Drowning Lesson from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Daughter By Jane Shemilt

Daughter ‘Daughter’ is Jane Shemilt’s debut novel.

THE NIGHT OF THE DISAPPEARANCE
She used to tell me everything. 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 has a tiny mole, just beneath her left eyebrow. 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.
ONE YEAR LATER
Naomi is still missing. Jenny is a mother on the brink of obsession. The Malcolm family is in pieces. Is finding the truth about Naomi the only way to put them back together? Or is the truth the thing that will finally tear them apart?

‘Daughter’ is a complex story that makes for chilling reading as it’s about every parents nightmare when their child goes missing.

It’s seen entirely from Jenny Malcolm’s perspective and is written in both the past and present tense when Jenny’s daughter Naomi mysteriously disappears one night. The flashbacks refer to the moment when she vanishes and then the story follows on fourteen months later and how things have altered for the Malcolm family and the repercussions as they try to carry on with their lives. But Jenny never gives up and continues on with her own private investigation, discovering new secrets about her not so perfect family along the way.

Jenny is a fascinating character, as a mother I felt a strong sense of empathy for her, as she goes through this particularly difficult time although the rest of the family seemed to have moved on, even though there was no conclusion regarding Naomi’s sudden absence. Her mind regularly spirals out of control, wondering what happened to her daughter which is quite disturbing reading at times, as she imagines quite horrible things.

I felt a flurry of emotions for Jenny, although it was mostly sympathy for her, I did find myself quite frustrated by her. As a professional woman in a doctoring occupation, her children treated her unfairly with cruel, nasty comments and accusing her of favouritism. She never stands up for herself and let them hurt her, much to my irritation.

The story is filled with many dislikable characters, mainly the Malcolm family and Naomi herself, who had quite a bitchy streak and wasn’t as innocent as Jenny had thought.

Written in a frank and gripping manner, the book flows at a fast pace, where everyone is suspect and nothing is quite as it seems. With a hauntingly creepy cover and intensity dripping from the pages, ‘Daughter’ is filled with many twists and turns and an unexpected ending that will leave you baffled and shocked in equal measures.

You can buy Daughter from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.