Book Review by Lori Carol Maloy
The Night Child by Anna Quinn/ A Book Review
Publish Date: 2018
Genre: Psychological Fiction
Anna Quinn has been writing for thirty plus years. She is an essayist and a poet and owns the Imprint Bookstore and Writers’ Workshoppe in Port Townsend, Washington. She wears many hats. The Night Child was her debut novel, and it was inspired by her own memoir. Her second novel, Angelina came out in February 2023, also published by Blackstone.
Nora Brown is a teacher and a mother of a six-year-old. In the opening scene she is teaching in her classroom. She seems tired and somewhat defeated, and her excitement and ambition for her job isn’t really there anymore. Suddenly, during the teaching session, she sees an apparition of a young child and feels waves of panic wash over her.
She is terrified.
The next day, during Thanksgiving holiday, she sees the child again. The child mentions the Valentine dress again. This sends her seeking medical and psychiatric help. Nora wants to understand what is happening to her mind.
Nora soon finds a counselor who begins to escort her back into her own childhood trauma and secrets are revealed.
No spoilers, so I can’t tell you what the intense secrets are or what she discovers or how it changes her.
The suspense was wonderful and I couldn’t put the book down. This novel is beautifully written and it drew me in completely. Immediately upon opening the book my skin crawled at Nora’s discovery of her own ache that something was terribly wrong inside her. Quinn states it perfectly, giving the reader a hint into the murkiness of Nora’s mind with this quote on page two.
“There’s so much Nora wants to say, so much she wants to ask them, but a headache is growing from the base of her skull, like someone piling stones in her mind, flattening her thoughts, weighing her down.”
The hint of fracture is apparent from the start, and I was drawn into this story immediately and found myself rooting for Nora all the way.
This story reminds the reader, whether we have experienced trauma or not, the human mind will do what it must to take care of us. This is a beautiful story of hope and resilience despite powerful odds.
Read this thrilling novel and find out if Nora will spiral into darkness and become crushed by the trauma of her past or will she bravely re-enter that darkness in search of truth and wholeness?