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While working as a GP, Jane Shemilt completed a postgraduate diploma in Creative Writing at Bristol University and went on to study for the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa, gaining both with distinction. She was shortlisted for the Janklow and Nesbit award and the Lucy Cavendish fiction prize for Daughter, which is her first novel. She and her husband, a Professor of Neurosurgery, have five children and live in Bristol.
Author photo © Philippa Gedge
October 2015 Book of the Month. A well-observed domestic drama turns half way through the book into a compulsive, emotional thriller. We are told right at the start that baby Sam is kidnapped. Then in alternating chapters we are given the family’s first few months in Africa and the year leading up to their decision to go there. They are medical consultants with two girls, aged 11 and 6, and the unplanned baby son. The tussles within the family are beautifully portrayed; should they all uproot or just the husband? It is his research into the links between lymphoma and HIV that the institute in Botswana is interested in. They do all go. The months of adjustment are equally fascinating. Then the tragedy hits, the tension is ratcheted up and you will find the book very hard to put down as the search for baby Sam unfolds. It is an excellent read, highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
One of our Books of the Year 2014. September 2014 Book of the Month. A tale of abduction/murder/disappearance? We the reader know not and so the tension and mystery builds. It is about a medical couple with three children, prosperous, hardworking, happy – so there is no way Naomi would want to run away. When she vanishes the worst is assumed, the police informed, the hunt is on but nothing comes to light and so the family falls apart. About a year later her mother begins to clear her room and we race into the final twist. Terrific.