Review by KT Sullivan
Jenny’s fifteen year old daughter, Naomi, is missing. She appeared in West Side Story at school and never came home. Jenny and her husband, Ted, are doctors. The ring of people of interests grows as the secrets of all get revealed.
Jenny misdiagnosed a young girl and accused her father of abuse. He threatens her after being questioned by the police. Naomi’s diary holds clues, but they aren’t followed up on until a year later. Ted and Jenny fall apart after his affair is revealed. She moves away and lives in a small cottage and befriends the townspeople. Their younger sons deal with the loss of their sister very differently and Jenny tries to help. Jenny tries to piece together Naomi movements to the minute. She finds a link and begs the police to follow up. What they uncover is a huge clue about Naomi, but it’s hard to follow up on it. It involves Ted’s malpractice lawsuit, Jenny’s patient, and gypsies. Jenny takes matters into her own hands to finally find out the truth about Naomi.
This is a chilling story. Many parents believe they know their children and what they would never do. Jenny is a perfect example. She’s been fooled, deceived, and blind to the plights of all of her children. It’s sad and rings very true. By the end, I hoped Jenny would find peace with her decisions and that all would finally be happy.
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About the Author:
Jane Shemilt, a writer and G.P, lives in Bristol with her husband and five children. Jane completed a Joint BSc Honours Degree in Psychology and Physiology at Bedford College, London University; then Medicine with Honours at the Royal Free Medical School, followed by a Diploma in Creative Writing, gained with Distinction at Bristol University. As well as being featured in medical publications, Jane’s work was selected for the Bristol Review of Books and a selection of her travel writing was published by the British Tanzania Society in 2009.
Practising is Jane’s novel in progress that explores the aftermath of a teenager’s disapperence.
It examines the dangers that lurk for those who take their luck for granted; it explores the emptiness at the heart of a contemporary middleclass family, and what happens when doctors play God. It also concerns survival against the bleakest odds; Jenny is driven forwards into life, though the reawakened trail and where it leads will test all her resources.
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