I received an e-copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions mentioned here are my own.
When you read a really good book, you make mental notes about all the great things you’ll say about it in your review. But, when you put the book down and rush to review it, the only thing that comes out is an uninspiring “great book! You should read it!”.
The Night Child was one such book for me. Believe me, I loved it! But, I’m trying really hard to put my thoughts about this book in order, and not go with the usual lacklustre “great book!” line.
All Nora Brown wants is to teach high school English and live 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. This time, it whispers, Remember the Valentine’s dress. Shaken once again, 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.
The Night Child is a breathtaking debut novel about split consciousness, saving a broken child, and the split between past and present. It’s about the extraordinary capacity within each of us to save ourselves through visionary means.
Nora Brown undergoes a psychological breakdown, and with the help of her psychiatrist David, discovers repressed memories that need to be processed. Anna Quinn has done an AMAZING job with this crux. In every chapter, Nora discovers/remembers something new from her past, showing how childhood memories really do scar an adult. With each reveal, the reader will definitely despise the perpetrator more and more, and therein lies the beauty of this book. It’s the kind of book that you can’t put down, because you need to know how it ends.
I would’ve been more comfortable if the book had come with a trigger warning. It explores some topics that could be uncomfortable, to put it lightly, for some people. I’m assuming the label was avoided because it’s also a plot point. Putting this oversight aside, The Night Child is a book that I can definitely see becoming a bestseller.
This book is about one woman’s journey to save herself. As David says, the healing should come from within–this is portrayed brilliantly by Quinn in this book. This is a completely plot-driven book and you should definitely read it if you like fast-paced novels!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
What did you think of my review? Would you read this book? Let me know in the comments!