Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Review: The Night Child by Anna Quinn

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.

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: January 30th 2018 by Blackstone 

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

The Night Child was about a woman who's personal and professional life were on shaky ground and she began to see a face. After exploring different medical routes she ended up in front of a psychiatrist. It was at this point that the story started to get interesting.

Without saying too much I will say that things from Nora's past began to emerge. Things that Nora had blocked out and couldn't remember. A journey of self discovery and a haunting look at her past pushed her to the edge. The Night Child showcased her journey to overcome the terrors of her past and her journey of strength and healing.

As difficult as the subject matter was, I felt that as the reader that I needed more of Nora's story from her childhood when the trauma occurred. In order to fully comprehend the emotional scars that it had on her, I needed more from her childhood. I don't necessarily mean the trauma itself but the family dynamic, the relationships between them in the good times as well as the bad. The story focused primarily on the discovery and healing process versus the story that brought her to the point she was at when she was introduced to us. I guess I felt that the back story was too fleeting and glazed over to give it the impact that was really needed for Nora's journey. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that it wasn't horrible and that her scars weren't warranted. I'm saying that I found the book moved too quickly and the discoveries of her past would have had more of an impact if the reader got a bit more of her back story.

There were some great moments in this book and I enjoyed Nora's journey however I didn't particularly like Nora or any of the characters in this book. None of them were overly likeable. I also struggled with something that Nora was going to do at the end of the book before the twist? Cliffhanger? or whatever it was that happened at the end. The ending felt unfinished and I'm not sure if that was intentional and meant to infer that Nora's struggled would never be finished or if it was a way to set up a sequel. Whichever it was left me feeling like I wasn't finished the book and not necessarily in a good way.

About the Author
Anna Quinn is a writer, teacher, and the owner of The Writers’ Workshoppe and Imprint Bookstore in Port Townsend, WA. She has thirty years of experience teaching and leading writing workshops across the country. Anna’s first novel, “The Night Child”, published by Blackstone will be released Jan. 30th, 2018

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