Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Night Child - by Anna Quinn: Book Review

Title: The Night Child
Author: Anna Quinn
No. Pages: 200
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Publishing Date: 30.01.2018
Format: Kindle

I liked this book because it's not your ordinary childhood drama novel. It deals with a woman's struggle, Nora, the main character, to block what happened to her in her childhood. It's cruel and harsh, but it exude compassion.

I didn't feel like I got "to know" any character very well. I wish Elizabeth, Nora's student had been focused on more. I was more interested in how the author was to present the course of Nora's therapy and her psychiatrist's intervention. I didn't find it difficult to follow the progression of the story and of the unfolding of the problem.

What intrigued me was how in a relatively short period of time Nora could go from leading a perfectly mundane life to a totally uncontrallable one. For someone interested in the going-ons of the mind and psychiatry, this is a gripping novel. Yes, gripping. I might be easily impressed, but it kept me interested until the last pages. Sure, some things were to be expected; sure, there could have been more depth of characters; but overall it was a good novel, dealing with a tough subject.

What could have been left aside were the graphic descriptions. The novel deals with child abuse and the clear depictions were, in my opinion, unnecessary, as one can get the idea of the root of the whole issue Nora is facing.

I think there was more to this novel than the mere desire to tell a story. The choice to pack so much into a short time span, the choice to set the story in Seattle in the mid 1990s are elements I don't understand, but it sets the story apart.

I wouldn't recommend this novel to just anyone, and I would certainly warn of the difficult subject matter and the graphic aspect of it.

I received a free e-book copy of the novel from the publisher. All thoughts expressed here are my own.

List of Characters:
Nora Brown - High school English teacher; abused when she was six years old by her father
Paul Brown - Nora's husband; is having an affair with Elisa (if I remember her name correctly), their neighbour
Fiona - Nora and Paul's six year old daughter
Jason - a student
Elizabeth - a student. commits suicide
John - School principal
James - Nora's younger brother; gay
Helen - Nora and James' mother; died when they were young
Seattle - where Nora and Paul live now
Ireland - where Helen was from and Nora and James were sent after Helen died and their father left them

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