The Daughter of Lady Macbeth by Ajay Close

This book was by an author new to me and outside my usual genre reading. It explores the relationship between parents and children and the importance of motherhood.

Freya and Frankie’s longing for a baby has put their marriage under strain. IVF is their last hope – but how do you bring a child into the world if you don’t know who you are? Freya’s mother Lilias (an actress on and off stage) will tell her nothing about her father, not even his name. When Freya signs on at a fertility clinic, she discovers a new capacity for deception in herself, while Lilias is forced to confront the limits of pretence. As the lies and secrets unravel, it seems mother and daughter have more in common than either of them suspects.

I found the book interesting, but rather slow and predictable in parts and confusing in others. It did not make me want to seek out other books by the author. However, The Daughter of Lady Macbeth might make for good discussions in a book group.

The Author

Ajay Close is a Scottish-based dramatist and writer of literary fiction. Her novels explore the emotional flashpoints of place, politics and family. Her latest, What We Did in the Dark, was inspired by the 20th century Scottish writer Catherine Carswell and her disastrous first marriage to a man who tried to strangle her. (‘Profound and moving… I couldn’t stop reading it,’ James Robertson.)

The Daughter of Lady Macbeth (‘sensual, wise and raw,’ Rosemary Goring), explores love, family, and the kernel of mystery in the people we think we know inside out.

Val Penny


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