The Nowhere Child

The Nowhere Child

Book - 2019
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Kimberly Leamy is a photography teacher in Melbourne, Australia. Twenty-eight years earlier, Sammy Went, a two-year old girl vanished from her home in Manson, Kentucky. An American accountant who contacts Kim is convinced she was that child, kidnapped just after her birthday. She cannot believe the woman who raised her, a loving social worker who died of cancer four years ago, crossed international lines to steal a toddler. On April 3rd, 1990, Jack and Molly Went's daughter Sammy disappeared from the inside their Kentucky home. Already estranged since the girl's birth, the couple drifted further apart as time passed. Jack did his best to raise and protect his other daughter and son while Molly found solace in her faith. The Church of the Light Within, a Pentecostal fundamentalist group who handle poisonous snakes as part of their worship, provided that faith. Without Sammy, the Wents eventually fell apart. Now, with proof that she and Sammy are in fact the same person, Kim travels to America to reunite with a family she never knew she had. And to solve the mystery of her abduction, a mystery that will take her deep into the dark heart of religious fanaticism where she must fight for her life against those determined to save her soul. --
Publisher: New York :, Minotaur Books,, 2019
Edition: First U.S. edition
Description: 371 pages ; 22 cm
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781250293718
Branch Call Number: Whit


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GSP2104 Apr 15, 2020

A great debut novel. A suspenseful thriller that is never slow and keeps you guessing from start to finish.

Cas22 Jan 21, 2020

A very impressive debut novel. It is well written, with a clever, original plot, believable characters, authentic dialogue and, blissfully, no credibility-straining coincidences that insult the reader’s intelligence.

Jul 01, 2019

For the most part, I think this first time novelist was successful in writing a fast paced, suspenseful novel with an unexpected twist (no spoilers given here!)
However, I feel this novel fell short towards the ending.

Mar 26, 2019

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'm always a sucker for stories that weave the past with the present using flashback, so this one had me hooked right away.
Suspenseful, with characters that are well fleshed out and believable. I hope to see another book by this author in the near future.

Mar 15, 2019

Margaret cannon recommends

Feb 02, 2019

Couldn't put this down. never slow or boring. you have to wait til the very end for the surprise conclusion. can't wait for this author's next book.

JaneCowell Aug 15, 2018

This has blasted onto the Australian publishing scene with rave reviews so I was keen to read it. It also is my favourite genre which is crime thriller. This is Christian White’s first book though he is known as a screenwriter and this novel won the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, and rights have been sold into fifteen countries. Born and raised on the Mornington Peninsula, like many Australian authors Christian had a wide range of ‘day jobs’ before he was able to write full time.
There was a lot to like about this novel – the writing mechanism used was a Then and Now writing style and the story does move seamlessly between these two periods until both the past and the present collide. I also really identified with the opening scene – a rainy Melbourne evening! The story centres around photography teacher Kim Leamy who is approached in the cafeteria by an American man who believes that she is not Kim Leamy, but in fact Sammy Went, who disappeared twenty-eight years earlier from her home in Manson, Kentucky when she was two. Kim is dismissive of this claim as she has been raised in Australia by her mother and her stepfather and has recently lost her mother to cancer and is still grieving. She is sufficiently intrigued though to go in search of her baby photos and does not find any. Who kidnapped Sammy Went? How are our connections to family made? Kim’s sister laments that she will lose a sister if Kim is indeed Sammy and the damage to the Went family as the kidnapping unfolds in the Then narrative is explored as well. Homophobia, fundamentalist religion, small town tensions, the truth of a marriage all raise their head in this story of families lost. Lots of tension, this whodunit keeps you guessing and I recommend for those looking for a light, emotionally charged crime thriller.

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