Nora Brown leads a normal life living in Seattle with her husband and six-year-old daughter, Fiona. Being a high school English teacher is something she loves and makes her life complete. One day in her class, Nora sees an image of a child hovering before her and she finds herself chilled to the core. Taking a Thanksgiving vacation during school break, Nora hopes to clear her mind. But her husband is distant and keeping long work hours. She is unhappy and suspects he is having an affair. She feels like she is going crazy. The face continues to haunt her dreams and appears again in her classroom with a voice this time. At this point, Nora realizes she needs professional help and seeks it. Nora finds herself taking an emotional journey back into the recessed memory that she has somehow repressed. Her friend, David, helps her find reason to her thoughts and keeps her grounded and not alone. This journey makes her reassess her memories of loved ones and move forward. Nora realizes that her struggles are leaving her life in tangles and she will have to make changes in her life.
The Night Child is a debut novel by Anna Quinn and is quite the psychological tale. A third person narrative, this is a short story that this reader could have read in one setting but needed a break from the intense subject matter. Nora’s character is complex but relatable and the plot is a strong and disturbing emotional read. The subject matter is honest and intense, full of courage and is unforgettable, very much a book that will linger in your mind. There are trigger warnings as the book deals with child abuse, mental illness, and adultery in this story. The author wrote about a hard subject with a clear voice and is an author to be watched for future stories.
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