While working as a GP, Jane Shemilt completed a post graduate diploma in Creative Writing at Bristol university and went on to study for the MA in Creative writing at Bath Spa University, gaining both with distinction.

She was shortlisted for the Janklow and Nesbitt award and the Lucy Cavendish fiction prize for her first novel, Daughter, which has gone on to be a top five bestseller and a Richard & Judy book club title.

She and her husband, a Professor of Neurosurgery, have five children and live in Bristol.


When a teenage girl goes missing her mother discovers she doesn’t know her daughter as well as she thought in Jane Shemilt’s haunting debut novel, Daughter.


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.



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?


Thank you for your great help yesterday. You were particularly inspirational in the way you helped us all to start to think about how to get out there in the great world of social networking.

- Jane Shemilt