New Book – The Daughter by Lucy Dawson (Pages 1 – 33)

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First published: 2018

SPOILERS!!!

Wow! The beginning of this book is so intense. In the prologue a little girl Beth feels poorly at school and tries to tell her teacher, but then the teacher has to see to another of her students who has been sick. Cara, Beth’s best friend, calls Beth and demonstrates how she can skilfully climb the frame and go upside down. Cara tells Beth to do the same, and even though Beth doesn’t want, she obeys, but then we see that she falls.

In the first chapter we are introduced to Beth’s mother, Jessica. She and Beth are on the way to school  – we imagine that this is previous to the prologue. Jessica is married to Ben, and she is a young mother, only twenty-four, and since Beth is five, we realise that she had her daughter at 19. When they are at school, the head of preschool, Mr Simon Strallen appears, and he asks her Jess to come to his office to discuss a few matters. Jess tries to come up with an excuse, but she eventually follows him. As soon as the door closes, we understand that there is past history between these two. Simon and Jess had an affair when she was nineteen. Simon didn’t tell her that he was married, and Jess didn’t say anything about Ben. The affair finished when his wife, Louisa, told him that she was pregnant, and they moved out of the city. Now Simon tells him that their relationship finished because he didn’t feel enough for her, but because of the circumstances. What Simon wants to discuss now is that he thinks that his wife suspects that Beth is his. Jess tells her several times that Beth is Ben’s, not his, so Louisa can’t suspect anything, especially when they haven’t told anyone about the affair.

As they are discussing all this, the door opens and Louisa, who is also a teacher there, appears. Simon comes up with some explanation why they are here in the office. When Jess starts hesitating and blushing, she realises that if the woman didn’t suspect anything before, now she does. So Jess makes her exist hastily. At work she knows that this will bring consequences. Then two hours later she gets a call from the school, and the headmistress, sounding very upset, tells her that she needs to go to hospital as her little girl has died.

Oh God! I never expect this at all. Poor Beth and poor Jess!!! We know that this was an accident when the girl tried to emulate her friend. What will happen now?

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