THE NOWHERE CHILD | Christian White
01.22.2019 | Minotaur Books
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Kim Leamy is a photography teacher living in Australia. One day she is approached by a man named Stuart who tells her about a two-year-old child who disappeared twenty-six years earlier from Manson, Kentucky named Sammy Went. A little girl who was his sister. A little girl who he believes is Kim Leamy. Kim can’t believe what she is hearing from Stuart. There’s no way her mother kidnapped her and crossed International lines just to call a toddler her own.
When Stuart supplies Kim with proof that their DNA shows a biological match she can no longer deny that she is in fact Sammy Went. In an attempt to understand what happened almost thirty years ago, Kim travels to America to reunite with the family she never knew was related to her. Kim is also determined to find out what happened to her so many years ago and what lead to her mother kidnapping her. With a hefty dose of religious fanaticism and a town full of secrets, this is a child abduction story you won’t solve before the big reveal!
But the deeper you go, the darker the water becomes. Soon you don’t see your feet anymore.
Christian White has already won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for THE NOWHERE CHILD and it’s easy to see why so many people have given this book praise. In White’s debut thriller he explores the disappearance of Sammy Went side-by-side with Kim Leamy attempting to come to terms with being that missing child and discovering what happened so many years ago. The parallel timelines of “then” and “now” weave together in a harmony that has the truth of the past being revealed at the same time as Kim is discovering her own answers. I love when authors master this parallel timeline structure because it gives the reader an opportunity to experience first hand what happened in the past, along with how those actions impact the present day.
White’s writing style is one that instantly drew me into the story. He certainly doesn’t hold back with several revelations about the Went family early on in the book. These revelations create a depth to the family, as well as the past, which for me I found captivating. I think it’s safe to say I adored the glimpses into the past! My love for the past timeline in no way took away from my desire to follow Kim’s journey into her disappearance in the present. I was invested with her discovery, but leaned more towards the drama in the past. It could also be that I’m greatly intrigued by religious fanaticism that borders on cult-like behavior, which there is plenty of in the past timeline!
To move through life without being accountable to a higher power is to drift unanchored through a dark ocean full of monsters.
I’m thrilled that Minotaur Books has brought this book to a US audience, as I think it is one that will be greatly received. I had not had the pleasure of hearing about this book prior to learning of this release, but it is certainly one I think deserves a flurry of hype! If you’re looking for a story that is largely thriller, but also serves up a side of religious fanaticism and family drama, than THE NOWHERE CHILD needs to be on your TBR!
Thank you to Minotaur Books for sending me a free copy of THE NOWHERE CHILD as part of their blogger program in exchange for my honest review!