Cover image for The nowhere child : a novel / Christian White.
Title:
The nowhere child : a novel / Christian White.
ISBN:
9781250293718
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Minotaur Books, 2019.

©2018
Physical Description:
371 pages ; 22 cm
Abstract:
Kimberly Leamy is a photography teacher in Melbourne, Australia. Twenty-eight years earlier, Sammy Went, a two-year old girl vanished from her home in Manson, Kentucky. An American accountant who contacts Kim is convinced she was that child, kidnapped just after her birthday. She cannot believe the woman who raised her, a loving social worker who died of cancer four years ago, crossed international lines to steal a toddler. On April 3rd, 1990, Jack and Molly Went's daughter Sammy disappeared from the inside their Kentucky home. Already estranged since the girl's birth, the couple drifted further apart as time passed. Jack did his best to raise and protect his other daughter and son while Molly found solace in her faith. The Church of the Light Within, a Pentecostal fundamentalist group who handle poisonous snakes as part of their worship, provided that faith. Without Sammy, the Wents eventually fell apart. Now, with proof that she and Sammy are in fact the same person, Kim travels to America to reunite with a family she never knew she had. And to solve the mystery of her abduction, a mystery that will take her deep into the dark heart of religious fanaticism where she must fight for her life against those determined to save her soul. -- (source of summary not specified)
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Summary

Summary

"A nervy, soulful, genuinely surprising it-could-happen-to-you thriller -- a book to make you peer over your shoulder for days afterwards."--A.J. Finn, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

Winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award, The Nowhere Child is screenwriter Christian White's internationally bestselling debut thriller of psychological suspense about a woman uncovering devastating secrets about her family--and her very identity...

Kimberly Leamy is a photography teacher in Melbourne, Australia. Twenty-six years earlier, Sammy Went, a two-year old girl vanished from her home in Manson, Kentucky. An American accountant who contacts Kim is convinced she was that child, kidnapped just after her birthday. She cannot believe the woman who raised her, a loving social worker who died of cancer four years ago, crossed international lines to steal a toddler.

On April 3rd, 1990, Jack and Molly Went's daughter Sammy disappeared from the inside their Kentucky home. Already estranged since the girl's birth, the couple drifted further apart as time passed. Jack did his best to raise and protect his other daughter and son while Molly found solace in her faith. The Church of the Light Within, a Pentecostal fundamentalist group who handle poisonous snakes as part of their worship, provided that faith. Without Sammy, the Wents eventually fell apart.

Now, with proof that she and Sammy are in fact the same person, Kim travels to America to reunite with a family she never knew she had. And to solve the mystery of her abduction--a mystery that will take her deep into the dark heart of religious fanaticism where she must fight for her life against those determined to save her soul...


Author Notes

Christian White is an internationally bestselling and award-winning Australian author and screenwriter. His debut novel, The Nowhere Child , won the 2017 Victorian Premier's Literary Award. He is currently in development with Matchbox Pictures on a new television series which he co-created, inspired by his script One Year Later , winner of the 2013 Australian Writers Guild 'Think Inside The Box'competition. His films have been shown at film festivals around the world. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and their greyhound.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

At the start of White's outstanding debut, American James Finn approaches Kim Leamy while she's taking a between-class break at the Melbourne, Australia, school where she teaches photography. Finn claims that Kim is Sammy Went, a child kidnapped from her Kentucky home at the age of two in 1990. Of course, Kim's initial reaction is that he's talking nonsense. As far as she knows, her family has always lived in Australia, and she has a birth certificate. But Finn-who soon admits he's Sammy's elder brother, Stuart-has reams of convincing documentation gleaned from decades of searching, including DNA proof. Kim/Sammy's first-person narrative as she and Stuart attempt to unearth details of her abduction alternates with a third-person omniscient account of the kidnapping and subsequent investigation. By juxtaposing past and present, the author keeps the tension high. The impatient may be tempted to skip ahead, but they shouldn't. Thriller fans will want to savor every crumb of evidence and catch every clue. White is definitely a writer to watch. Agents: Jennifer Naughton and Candice Thom, RGM. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

DEBUT In this stunning first novel, White weaves stories within stories while keeping the thrilling mystery alive. Kim Leamy is a photography professor at a community college in Australia. She leads a quiet life alone, with reading as her primary source of entertainment. That changes when she's approached in the school cafeteria by a man with an American accent named Stuart, who shows her a photograph of a long-ago abducted child named Sammy Went. Perplexed, Kim insists she knows nothing about the kidnapping, but Stuart tells her, "I think you are Sammy Went." As she comes to terms with the possibilities and agrees to travel back to the States with Stuart, her world turns completely upside down. The small southern town of Manson, AL, is also home to the Light Within, a fundamentalist Christian church whose members, the Light Withiners, handle poisonous snakes and speak in tongues. Some of those members are also Sammy Went's family, and Kim is about to get more enlightened than she ever dreamed. VERDICT White's tightly woven debut thriller has already won the Victorian Premier Literary Award in Australia; its arrival Stateside comes highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 7/2/18.]-­Cynthia Price, Francis Marion Univ. Lib., Florence, SC © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.