Published by: Completely Novel | Publication date: 23rd June 2015 | Edition: Review copy (PDF)
The Doctor’s Daughter is brimming with secrets and lies, and tackles the subject of abuse in its various guises: mental, physical and power. It’s undeniably suspenseful, and there’s some thunderously excellent prose with sinister stand-out moments.
Since she was a child, Marta Rosenblit had been treated very differently from her sisters and what she accepted to be an ordinary life to her was a fundamentally cruel existence. She’s an otherwise invisible entity, displayed at gatherings where her father can voice his strong views on psychological matters.
As a well-respected Doctor in this field, her father can dismiss any opinion she chooses to conceive herself as being incredulous, particularly if she’s making more sense than him. To persist with her fervent beliefs on psychological matters would be seen as bordering on the hysterical, and she could see herself joining her mother in an asylum. So, she listens politely, as she is force-fed his ideas and regurgitates these at timely intervals to reinforce her father’s expertise in his chosen subject.
Never knowing what made her mother become unwell, other than because she was born, her sisters are indifferent to her and without acquaintances to call on for advice she is left with her father treating her like a second class citizen, as if her mind were feeble simply because of her gender.
How can a young lady possibly compete with such strong characters in 1920’s Vienna when her voice is being lost amongst the crowd? As you follow her story, you’ll soon discover that it’s quite the impossible task for Marta and this in turn opens a revolving door of hidden suffering for her.
Everything was set to change when she meets Dr Leopold Kaposi, a friend of her fathers. She sees him as a ray of light. Little does this naïve young woman know of Dr Kaposi’s agenda, which will leave her swirling in an eddy of confusion, only adding to her already fragile state.
I was willing her to find the courage to open her eyes. It seemed she might do just that when an anonymous parcel arrived for her. Her furtive investigations to find the sender lead her to some awful truths with the help of an outspoken and newly qualified doctor by the name of Elise, who plays the most magnificent part. It turns out the ladies may have more in common than would first appear.
It all gets very dark indeed. Without a doubt, the appeal for me was whether Marta could find a shred of hope under the emotional debris. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
(My sincere thanks to the author for providing a review copy of her book for review. SO happy she did!)
A prominent psychiatrist’s daughter realises insanity can be found much closer to home when she unlocks secrets from the past that threaten to destroy her future.
It’s 1927, women have the right to vote and morals are slackening, but 23-year-old Marta Rosenblit is not a typical woman of her time. She has little connection with her elder sisters, her mother has been detained in an asylum since Marta was born and she has spent her life being shaped as her father Arnold’s protégé. She is lost, unsure of who she is and who she wants to be. Primarily set in Vienna, this dark tale follows her journey of self-discovery as she tries to step out of her father’s shadow and find her identity in a man’s world. Her father’s friend Dr Leopold Kaposi is keen to help her make her name, but his interest is not purely professional and his motivations pose greater risks than she could possibly know. Marta’s chance encounter in a café leads to a new friendship with young medical graduate Elise Saloman, but it soon turns out that Elise has some secrets of her own. When Marta’s shock discovery about her family story coincides with her mother’s apparent suicide, Marta can’t take anymore. Nobody she has grown to love and trust is who they seem. Her professional plans unravel, her relationships are in tatters and her sanity is on the line – and one person is behind it all.
In 2014, the first draft of my novel The Doctor’s Daughter was fortunate enough to be selected for a Free Read by The Literary Consultancy (TLC), a manuscript assessment that is awarded on merit and received interest from a number of literary agents and publishing houses.
My debut poetry collection ‘Melodies of my Other Life’ was published by indie press Winter Goose Publishing in 2013. Since then I have been featured in several poetry publications and have developed my fiction writing skills through training with the Arvon Foundation.
I have been writing since my teens and during my career have penned several feature articles printed in the national media. In 2012 I started a 30-day writing and blogging challenge during which I won two poetry contests. I regularly update my blog http://www.ordinarylifelessordinary.wordpress.com with poetry, short stories and author interviews.
I live in Cornwall, England with my husband and four children. I am 38 years old.
Connect with Vanessa Matthews, or buy the book