Nora Brown, an English teacher, is happily married to Paul and they have a six-year-old daughter, Fiona. Nora leads a perfect life, you would say, until she is suddenly confronted by an image of a beautiful young girl with “startling blue eyes” … and fate, at last, confronts her with her past.
It is almost time for their little family’s annual Thanksgiving holiday on the Washington Coast when Nora Brown, sitting in her now empty class room, experiences something frightening: a whisper of the wind and a girl’s face floats before her eyes, a bodiless face with “startling blue eyes” staring straight into Nora’s. A hallucination? A product of Nora’s own imagination? There is a terror in Nora, never before experienced and she desperately tries to hang on, to return to her normal self, but the girl does not give up and starts reappearing.
Nora is shocked by the terror and agony she feels after seeing the girl and the next time she appears, the girl speaks to her: “Remember the Valentine’s dress“, she says. when she tells her husband about the girl, Paul does not say much but Nora can see, he finds it .. creepy. As Nora finds it harder to get a grip on her daily life and feels more and more sleep deprived, she decides to confront the situation with Psychiatrist, David Forrester. With him, she goes back to her childhood, to her mother’s fatal accident that caused her father to leave. Her parents married young, her mother was only sixteen and had the year before left home in Ireland to emigrate to America. From a happy person, she turned into an alcoholic which made life for her children, James and Nora, difficult.
With David, Nora sets out on a journey filled with memories from the past. No one to turn to or to confide in, not even Nora’s teacher, Sister Rosa, who told her to be brave like St Margaret. We have no idea what has happened, what causes present day Nora to have nightmares, and is slowly depriving her of her normal life with Paul and their little daughter. David is certain, something has triggered the image of the little girl. He tries to establish whether she was happy before having the headaches and hallucinations and this seemingly simple question throws Nora off balance. With every insight Nora gives us, we form a picture of her youth and the girl she once was. And gradually, we come to understand why Nora is in this situation but we are powerless to lessen her pain. Will David find a way to get through to her and guide her back into her ‘normal’ life?
The Night Child is a gripping psychological novel – a story that captures your heart and does not let go. You have to read on to understand – and then you are with her, questioning everything – foremost, her sanity. She has lived through something no child should experience, and to witness the cruelty bestowed upon her, it is hard. People you trust, you should be able to trust unconditionally, when they let you down it is the utmost betrayal. This novel takes you on an emotional journey into the darkness and evil – but also, shows how we carry with us what happened in the past, how we all have our coping mechanisms that keep us from losing track. Still, something can trigger memories long hidden – and it is how you deal with it that counts. I admired Nora, she is very brave when she desperately tries to confront her past. This psychological novel stays with you long after you have closed the book.
The Night Child will be published by Blackstone Publishing on Jan 30th, 2018.
About the Author
Anna Quinn is a writer, teacher, and the owner of The Writers’ Workshoppe and Imprint Books in Port Townsend, WA. She has thirty years of experience teaching and leading writing workshops across the country. Her writing has appeared in various literary journals and texts, including Literature Circles and Response, Practical Aspects of Authentic Assessment, Instructor, Tidepools, IS Literary Magazine, Manifest-Station, Lit-Fest Anthology, 2016, and Washington 129 Anthology. She was also awarded “2015 Patron of the Arts” in Port Townsend, WA. Anna’s first novel, “The Night Child”, was recently acquired in a world right’s deal by Blackstone Publishing, and will be published Jan. 30th, 2018. Anna believes everyone has a remarkable story to tell, and when we listen closely to each other? Everything changes.
|Publisher||Blackstone Publishing (30 Jan. 2018)|