My Daughter’s Secret by Nicole Trope
My baby girl, I’ll never forget you – your smile, your laugh, the way your hair sparkles in the sun. I cannot comprehend this pain. I cannot breathe through it.
For Claire, life as she knows it is over. And after the death of her daughter, Julia, she is searching for answers. Stumbling upon a pile of letters, hidden under Julia’s bed in an old, battered shoebox, she feels closer to her daughter than ever before. They tell her that Julia was happy, that she was thriving at university, that she was in love.
But as the letters go on, Claire starts to feel uneasy at something hidden between the lines. Even as she grieves, she must prepare to face a shocking discovery. Because Julia was hiding a terrible secret – and when it’s uncovered, it will make Claire question everything she thought she knew about her daughter…
An emotional and gripping page-turner that will stay with you long after you finish the last page. Fans of Liane Moriarty, Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult will love this moving and poignant tale that is full of shocking twists.
Readers are absolutely loving My Daughter’s Secret:
‘What a heartbreaking story!… The tissues came out, then they were put back away only for them to be taken back out again…! It had me gripped from the first chapter… A book that will make you want to hug your children and never let them go… Make sure you have tissues to hand!’ Stardust Book Reviews
‘This book was awesome!!!… With the twist and turns that move so fast your head is spinning, you will reel at the ending!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars
‘Amazing… WTH did I just read? This book seriously smacked me on the head with the twists and turns… I could not stop reading.’ NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars
‘This is such an utterly heart-wrenching, gripping, twisted and jaw-dropping story. It absolutely broke my heart to read but it was also very addictive because I wanted to find out the truth. Brilliantly written and very clever with the twisted truth.’ MrsCsHonestBookReviews
‘What a fabulous book. I was hooked from page one and could not put this book down. So many emotions.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars
‘This book had me crying from the beginning. An extremely sad story… Felt so real and painful… Gives truth to pain in every way.’ Goodreads Reviewer
Nicole Trope went to university to study Law but realised the error of her ways when she did very badly on her first law essay because-as her professor pointed out- ‘It’s not meant to be a story.’ She studied teaching instead and used her holidays to work on her writing career and complete a Masters’ degree in Children’s Literature. After the birth of her first child she stayed home full time to write and raise children, renovate houses and build a business with her husband.
The idea for her first published novel, The Boy under the Table, was so scary that it took a year for her to find the courage to write the emotional story. Her second novel, Three Hours Late, was voted one of Fifty Books you can’t put down in 2013 and her third novel, The Secrets in Silence, was The Australian Woman’s Weekly Book of the month for June 2014.
She lives in Sydney with her husband and three children
- Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
My Daughter’s Secret begins on Halloween night with a terrible tragedy. Julia, a vivacious, intelligent and beautiful twenty year old has made a terrible choice. The novel revolves around her family and the repercussions of that night. Claire, her mother, cannot comprehend what her daughter has chosen to do and struggles with acceptance. In her search to find reasons for her daughter’s death she stumbles across a box filled with letters from someone Julia was romantically involved with. Claire makes it her mission to find the person she believes broke her daughter’s heart and drove her to her death. The more letters she reads, the more uneasy she becomes as she begins to pick up small clues as to who the man might be. The truth makes her question everything she knew about her daughter and herself as a mother.
- Who would your book be perfect for?
Anyone who is a parent and has struggled with the myriad of joys and heartbreaks that come with raising a child and also anyone who’s ever been in love because love can tear you apart when it goes wrong.
- Did you have a favourite character to write?
I like Claire because she doesn’t give up or accept what’s happened. I think I would feel the same contrasting emotions as I struggle to trust my own instincts while those around me seem to easily accept the most logical explanation. I like that she keeps searching for answers because of her conviction that she knew her daughter and who she was. I like her strength because despite being in a situation where most people would collapse-she keeps going.
- What inspired you to the write the book?
The book began, as all my novels do, with a scene. I knew it was Halloween and I knew there were two girls coming home from a party and I saw what they saw, heard their shock and despair and then I knew what had happened. I write what I fear as well as what I know. Claire was the first character who developed to the point where I felt I knew her and she became the main protagonist of the novel. As a mother-your child’s mental health is always a preoccupation. There is a saying that a mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child. As my children have grown older I find that to be very true. Those thoughts were with me as I wrote this novel.
- Can you share with us a photo from 2018 that meant something special to you?
This was taken on a very laid back week at the beach in December. It was the end of a long year and I find it really peaceful to look at. It’s of my daughter-does it remind you of anything?
- What has been your proudest bookish moment?
I am always proud of what I have achieved when I receive messages from readers in a similar situation to the one I’m writing about that say- you got that right, that’s exactly how I feel. It means I have managed the very important research and empathy that make my characters relatable. I even enjoyed a review that said that one of my novels read like a psychology textbook. It didn’t, being highly emotional but I loved that the reader felt I had done enough research to write authentically about the topic.
- Do you have any questions for your readers?
I would love to know if they prefer to know as much as they can about the author or if they prefer to be able to read a novel without thinking about who wrote it. I sometimes find that not knowing much about the author allows the novel to exist in its own space. On the other hand, if I’ve really enjoyed a book, I want to know who the author is and what inspired them.
- What is your favourite read of your whole life and why?
I simply couldn’t pick just one. I’ve found that different books and authors appeal at different times in my life. Authors I love and have loved in the past include: Terry Pratchett, Fay Weldon, Joanna Trollope, Isabel Allende, Joan Didion, Ann Patchett, Rosamunde Pilcher… I could go on and on. I read voraciously.
- What are you working on now?
I’ve just begun a new novel so I’m at my least favourite part of the process. I know it begins with a small dog, a Fox Terrier, on a beach. The ideas for the story are crowded into my head and I need to get them all down one word at a time. It feels like a long slow climb and I am never sure it’s going to work until I reach at least 10000 words.
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