I do love a good family-based emotional thriller and The
Daughter’s Secret neatly fits the bill. The story of Ros and her family, shattered years before by her daughter’s flit with her geography teacher is gripping and was very much a page turner for me.
It has a lot that you would expect from a novel that won a Good Housekeeping novel award (there’s an Aga!), but the family’s comfortable middle-class existence is superficial; underneath the surface is a web of lies, adultery and general anxiety. The main character, Ros, is anxious to a point of irrationality at points and the ending was bit too neat. I wanted to get under the skin of the peripheral characters, who I would have liked to have known more about.
But, do you know what? In this case, these are minor gripes. The main trio of characters, Ros, her daughter Stephanie and the teacher, Nate Temperley, are straightforward, familiar character types- and this works in this novel. It’s a novel to read when you want to be thrilled, but don’t mind being sucked in to the point that you’ll lose the rest of your day…
*Sent for review