The Night Child by Anna Quinn
Published by: Blackstone Publishing on January 30th, 2018
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Psychology
Summary (from Goodreads): Nora Brown teaches high school English and lives a quiet life in Seattle with her husband and six-year-old daughter. But one November day, moments after dismissing her class, a girl’s face appears above the students’ desks — ‘a wild numinous face with startling blue eyes, a face floating on top of shapeless drapes of purples and blues where arms and legs should have been. Terror rushes through Nora’s body — the kind of raw terror you feel when there’s no way out, when every cell in your body, your entire body, is on fire — when you think you might die.
Twenty-four hours later, while on Thanksgiving vacation, the face appears again. Shaken and unsteady, Nora meets with neurologists and eventually, a psychiatrist. As the story progresses, a terrible secret is discovered — a secret that pushes Nora toward an even deeper psychological breakdown.
This breathtaking debut novel examines the impact of traumatic childhood experiences and the fragile line between past and present. Exquisitely nuanced and profoundly intimate, The Night Child is a story of resilience, hope, and the capacity of the mind, body, and spirit to save itself despite all odds.
Review: This is not a mystery “who-dun-it” novel as one would expect based on this cover. It is a story about triggering events that bring up childhood trauma and how the main character goes through this realisation and gets treated.
What starts as a middle-aged woman; Nora, in her English classroom one afternoon seeing a child’s face ends with a shocking revelation about what happened to Nora when she was younger. From start to finish you’re sucked in to this dread inducing narrative trying to figure out why this child’s face has appeared and the startling memories that come with it.
This is hard for me to review because I found the graphic description of said trauma to be extremely unsettling and made me not want to keep reading. As well, the therapy sessions could have gone a bit longer and into more detail to uncover more of the why and how the Nora was going to get better.
This a fantastic debut novel and I can’t wait to see what’s to come for Quinn. I’m hoping that this was a well-researched novel and not an unfortunate event close to author’s personal life.
Trigger Warnings: child abuse, sexual abuse
* Thank you NetGalley for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review *