The Drowning Lesson

by Jane Shemilt

Books of the Month - <b>May</b> Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Family Drama Modern and Classic Literary Fiction Thriller and Suspense

LoveReading View on The Drowning Lesson

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

Sarah Broadhurst

The Drowning Lesson Synopsis

Emma and Adam are doctors at the top of their fields and so when they are offered the chance to take their three children to Africa for a year for a research placement it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. It's going to be an experience they'll never forget. But for all the wrong reasons. When Emma arrives home one night to the sickening sight of an empty cot, their family's dream adventure turns into their worst nightmare. Thousands of miles from home and from anyone who can help, they must discover the truth. Is this a random abduction, a tragic accident or something far more sinister?

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The Drowning Lesson Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review one of Jane Shemilt's previous titles, Daughter. You can read their full reviews here .

  • Phylippa Smithson - 'If you love a book that you can't put down, brings heart-break and tears because the characters and situation in which they find themselves is so very credible, then Daughter is a must.'
  • Clair Chaytors - 'If you only read one book this year, make sure it’s this one...Daughter has to be the best book I have read this year and I only hope Jane has plans for more...' 
  • Anne Rhodes - '...a mind numbing tale moving from present to recent past - how well do we know our children?...Altogether, a gripping story and an author to look out for in the future.'
  • Alison Bisping - 'A must read this summer!...From the first page, Daughter had me completely captivated and is one of the best books I have read in quite a while.'
  • Suzanne Marsh - 'What seems to be a simple abduction soon turns into something far more complex and baffling. Readers will love every page with lots of little twists that you do not know are coming.' 
  • Sue Burton - 'I have just finished this book and thoroughly enjoyed it.'
  • Sallyann Spittle - 'Wow what a book...The way the plot unfurls keeps you on edge and I couldn’t put it down once I had started to read it.' 
  • Melanie Chadwick - 'It was an absorbing read and I was pleased with the tragic, unsettling and unexpected ending.'
  • Andrea Dean - 'Jane Shemilt’s thoroughly readable novel, Daughter, takes you on an extremely emotional journey which every mother dreads.'
  • Rebecca Cockeram - 'Sadly this book didn't grab me.  There were elements of the story I loved, but I didn't like the main character and so I found it hard to care about her plight.' 
  • Steven Daws - 'Daughter by Jane Shemilt is a beautifully crafted book that teases the reader with the details that it reveals...A thoroughly entertaining page turner that will both entertain and surprise you.'
  • Cathy Burman - 'A compelling, heart-wrenching book, beautifully written.  You will not want to put it down, it is a real page turner...I am still thinking about it, the sign of an excellent read.' 
  • Kim Haines - 'The ending of the book was totally unbelievable and I wouldn't recommend this book.'
  • Karen Clark - 'This book will stay with you for a long time after you have read it...It is a long time since a book touched me as much as this one did, probably because what happens could happen to any family.'
  • Kath Thornton - 'This is a haunting, complex and thrilling read. I just couldn’t put it down.'
  • Freda Lopez - 'The story about how one girl's disappearance tore apart a whole family will keep you reading right until the end!' 
  • Sophia Ufton - 'This book was by far the most amazing, inspiring books I have read in a very long time.' 

The Drowning Lesson Press Reviews

Praise for Daughter:

'Utterly gripping. A tautly coiled spring of suspicion and suspense which builds to a devastating ending' Mail On Sunday

'Complex and baffling. Jane Shemilt builds layer upon layer of tension in a novel you won't be able to put down' Tess Gerritsen

'Thrilling' Sunday Express

'Taut and thought-provoking' Sunday Mirror

'Thrilling, yet written with depth and subtlety, and tender insight into parental love' Tessa Hadley

'Gripping to the last page!' My Weekly

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781405915311
Publication date: 24/09/2015
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781405915311
Publication date: 24th September 2015
Author: Jane Shemilt
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 400 pages
Genres: Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Jane Shemilt

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

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