A Daughter's Secret is a novel told in three voices - Mia, a successful child psychotherapist; Mia's teenage self, recounting her own complicated childhood; and Gemma, one of Mia's recent cases. It is not always immediately obvious at the start of a chapter which voice we are hearing, but this is done on purpose. The two unhappy childhoods with selfish fathers have many points in common and, while we often hear of patients projecting themselves onto their therapists, here it seems more a case of Mia recognising some of her younger self in Mia and trying to offer both of them salvation and happiness.
Mia's wayward father, who insisted on being called Lorcan, would come and go as he pleased during Mia's formative years, leaving her and her mother in emotional turmoil. Gemma's own situation is much more complicated and potentially dangerous. Her criminally-connected father has gone missing and is being hunted by the police, who are sure Gemma is covering for him. Mia and Gemma immediately enter into a conflictual love-hate patient-therapist relationship, dancing around each other like defensive tigers protecting their territory, wary of getting too close or opening themselves up to more hurt.
It's an emotionally gripping tale which had me really feeling for both of the women. Both of the fathers are pretty useless and this has left both daughters damaged. It's certainly a case of the Sins of the Fathers ! I wouldn't go so far as to say that the book has a happy ending but it does give all concerned a sense of closure.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £7.99
Disclosure : I received a copy of the book in order to write an honest review.