I have another Beat The Backlog review for you today!
Title: The Nowhere Child by Christian White
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 22nd January 2019
One photograph is all it takes to turn your world upside down.
You stare at the picture. It shows a missing child who was abducted from her Kentucky home twenty years ago.
But the kidnapped child doesn’t just look like you; she is you…
Your real name is Sammy Went – and the people you thought were family have been lying to you all your life.
But what really happened all those years ago? And how far would you go for the truth?
Another book that has been languishing on my NetGalley Shelf.
The Nowhere Child is Christian White’s debut novel centring around Australian photography teacher Kimberly Leamy, who suddenly finds out that her whole life is a lie and her real name is Sammy West, who was abducted from a small town in America 28 years earlier.
I have very mixed feelings about this book. It felt like a unique twist on the whole child abduction trope, which was enjoyable, but there were times when I honestly didn’t think I was going to actually finish the book!
The first half was very slow burn with a cast of mostly unlikeable characters. Then there was the back and forth in the timeline to the present time, then back to 1990. The present day gripped me, but the aftermath of Sammy’s abduction felt lacklustre. It was mostly focused on the dysfunctional family of the Wests, along with seemingly random characters connected to the story, which meant there was a lot going on and not much tying it all together.
However, I enjoyed the small town setting of Mason, which felt claustrophobic and unsettling. Then there was the cult-like religious group the church of the Light Within, with their snake handling and overly devout followers added an extra creep factor to the novel. The tension and pace picked up in the second half, and the ending was so action packed and twisty that it almost made up for the rest of the story.
Still, if you enjoy a slow burn thriller, then I would definitely recommend The Nowhere Child to you.
About The Author:
Christian White is an Australian author and screenwriter. His debut novel, The Nowhere Child, won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. He co-created the television series Carnivores, currently in development with Matchbox Pictures and Heyday TV, and co-wrote Relic, a psychological horror feature film to be produced by Carver Films (The Snowtown Murders, Partisan).
Born and raised on the Mornington Peninsula, Christian had an eclectic range of ‘day jobs’ before he was able to write full-time, including food-cart driver on a golf course and video editor for an adult film company. He now spends his days writing from his home in Melbourne where he lives with his wife, the filmmaker Summer DeRoche, and their adopted greyhound, Issy. He has a passion for true crime podcasts, Stephen King and anything to do with Bigfoot. The Nowhere Child is his first book. Christian’s currently working on his second novel, due for publication by Affirm Press in 2019.