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?
The Drowning Lesson by Jane Shemilt is a completely absorbing, emotional story of loss and suffering intertwined with mystery and suspense. I read and loved Daughter (my review here) by the same author so was excited to give this a go!
I was hanging on to every word, trying to work out what had happened to baby Sam, despite feeling that Emma wasn’t a particularly likeable character- she seemed quite jealous and competitive and far too absorbed in her work to notice what was going on with her children, though I also felt for her because her husband was also so engrossed in his own career, if not more- and why should it always be expected that mothers should give up their own lives and careers once they have children?
However as the novel went on I warmed to Emma and really felt that I could sympathise with what she was going through, despite having no children myself. Towards the end of the novel the story got fairly heart-breaking really, and I really felt for the family. Jane Shemilt writes so wonderfully and has managed to create a convincing and, at times, threatening world in Botswana, and I really felt pulled into the African landscape as I read on.
Although some readers may feel that the novel was a little slow at times, I personally really enjoyed it and the way it slowly built suspense until the fairly action-packed end.
Many thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy of this novel in return for an honest review!
The Drowning Lesson is out in the UK on September 24th 2015!