Mia is a high-flying child psychotherapist, hoping to be made partner in the thriving practice where she works. But then she takes on a case which will change her life for ever, and bring back the past she has done her best to bury.
Thirteen year old Gemma was the last person to see her father before he went on the run, fleeing from a major criminal trial. The police are desperate to track him down, pressuring Mia to tease the information out of his angry and reluctant daughter. But what does Gemma really know and how hard can Mia push without betraying her?
Both are hiding devastating secrets. Both need the other to survive. Will they learn to trust each other before it’s too late?
I wanted to tell you about an elite group of writers who exist in my little world. It’s a relatively small group, and it is an honour (really, it is!) to be part of it. It’s a group of authors whose books are totally irresistible to me, and I buy every single book they write… but they never seem to make their way onto my reading list. Eleanor Moran has been a member of that elite group for some time now, but last week I read A Daughter’s Secret – published by Simon and Schuster on 30th July in paperback and for kindle – and I was blown away by it. So I’m afraid she can no longer be a member of my little club – her books will move straight to the top of my reading list in future.
My thoughts on the book follow, but first I’m quite delighted to introduce you to author Eleanor Moran.
As I said, I wasn’t expecting gangland – or a story driven by a police investigation, or the complexity of father-daughter relationships. The book is also a tender and beautiful – relatively conventional – boy-meets-girl love story. But everything comes together wonderfully in this book, with Mia as its fascinating centre. We have the complex story of Mia’s childhood, her experiences both helping and complicating her professional and personal relationship with thirteen year old Gemma. We have Gemma herself – and the difficulty of knowing whether she’s a victim, a pawn or a master manipulator. And then we have Mia in the present day – her relationships, her choices, her patience as a psychotherapist sometimes in stark contrast to her occasional bluntness with friends and colleagues.
The characters are wonderful, the dialogue sparkles, and the story itself kept me turning the pages into the early hours. I thought it was quite perfectly paced, filled with tension, and so very well written. The only difficulty comes in defining it – not something I like to do, but just so that I can maybe say “if you liked x you’ll love it”. It’s a psychological thriller, part police procedural, part love story, family drama… ah, whatever! I think the best I can do is tell you how much I enjoyed it…
My thanks to netgalley and the publishers for my advance reading copy, and to Eleanor for joining me on Being Anne.
Eleanor Moran is the author of five novels – the latest is A Daughter’s Secret. Eleanor is currently Head of TV at 42. Her credits include the Emmy award winning Enid, Being Human and Rome. You can find more information about Eleanor and her books through her excellent website: you can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.