Nora Brown, a high school English teacher, became alarmed when she saw a young girl’s face appear before her on multiple occasions. Frightened and fearing she was losing her mind, she sought psychiatric help, freeing the repressed memories of the horrifying abuse she suffered as a child.
The Night Child is a deeply unsettling novel about child abuse that is not for the faint of heart—and yet, it is a compelling read. Quinn draws you in right from the start, skipping a lengthy setup to dive right in to Nora’s first hallucination shortly after class was dismissed for the day. It happens so quickly as to leave the reader as shocked as Nora felt by it. I loved the way I was immediately trying to figure out what she’d seen, and why. It didn’t matter that I barely knew anything about her at that point—I was already completely sucked into the story, wanting to know more.
The way scenes were written when Nora remembered something was positively brilliant. The disjointed thoughts made me feel as if I were trapped in that memory right along with Nora, feeling the same horror she felt. It was more than a little disturbing at times, to be honest… and yet, I couldn’t stop reading.
This blurb describes this book as a “breathtaking debut”… which describes it perfectly. If Quinn’s debut is this good, I can’t wait to see what her second book will be like!
About the Book
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.
About the Author