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.
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.
“The Night Child is a powerful, beautifully written, transformative novel that struck a rare chord with me. When I recall Nora’s journey, I am affected viscerally, as if I were reliving her painful memories alongside her. ‘Must-read’ is not a phrase I use often; I am using it now: you must read this book!”—Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
“Anna Quinn writes with bright and assured authority, making this a remarkable debut novel you won’t soon forget. Her haunting story, expertly and lovingly crafted, leaves you breathless with both terror and hope.”—Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“I loved this book so much…I entered Quinn’s book and lost myself and exited her book changed. She is hanging with the big dogs with this work…like Jodi Picoult and Ann Patchett.”—Lidia Yuknavitch, bestselling author of The Book of Joan
“The Night Child is an exhilarating debut: Quinn immediately pulls the reader in and doesn’t let go until the final scene. She commands each page and expertly dives into the inner working of a broken mind. This fast-paced, riveting novel of coping with the past while trying to salvage life in the present is hard to put down.” —Booklist