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The Child Hardcover – June 27, 2017
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Praise for The Child
“Tense, tantalizing, and ultimately very satisfying...definitely one of the year’s must-reads.”—Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Fiona Barton has masterfully delivered again with The Child, her follow-up to her bestselling debut novel, The Widow....So many questions, so much perfect suspense….Barton tells the child’s story as only she can—brilliantly.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“This being a Barton thriller, there’s more to pretty much everything than meets the eye.”—The Boston Globe
“Fiona Barton has outdone herself with The Child. An engrossing, irresistible story about the coming to light of a long-buried secret and an absolutely fabulous read—I loved it!”—Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door
“[An] intriguing, twisty tale....With plenty of red herrings, nothing and no one is who they seem in this evocative puzzler.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A slow-burn portrait of loss and survival.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A twisty and tantalizing story you won't be able to put down.”—Bustle
“Startling twists—and a stunning, emotionally satisfying conclusion.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Clever and compelling. You’ll love The Child.”—Clare Mackintosh, international bestselling author of I See You
Praise for The Widow
An NPR Best Book of 2016
One of The Wall Street Journal’s 5 “Killer Books” of the Year
One of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of the Year
“If you liked Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, you might want to pick up The Widow by Fiona Barton. Engrossing. Suspenseful.”—Stephen King
“A twisted psychological thriller you’ll have trouble putting down.”—People
“Fiona Barton’s debut novel, The Widow, is being compared to Gone Girl, Before I Go to Sleep, and The Girl on the Train. It’s actually better than them all.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“[A] twisty tale...with a mesmerizing if unreliable narrator...that will blow your mind.”—Oprah.com
“[Jean is] a fascinating puzzle…Barton knows how to ramp up tension.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Both a taut reconstruction of a crime and a ruthless examination of marriage...A smartly crafted, compulsively readable tale about the lies people tell each other, and themselves, when the truth is the last thing they really want to know.”—Entertainment Weekly
“[Barton] delivers the goods...Richly character-driven in a way that is both satisfying and engrossing.”—The Washington Post
About the Author
Fiona Barton, the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow and The Child, trains and works with journalists all over the world. Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Top customer reviews
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As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.
But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell…
My Thoughts: Slowly the three women who are central to the story in The Child are revealed to us in bits and pieces. We do not know what, if anything, connects them. But they are all struck by the news of the infant. A baby that has been buried on the site for a number of years. The story takes us from the present to the past through alternating narrators, who show us moments in their lives and offer up thoughts, feelings, and clues to their histories.
Emma Massingham Simmonds is struggling every day, her mind a mess of anxieties, dark thoughts, and nightmares. Her husband Paul takes care of her, and she works at home as a book editor. But her conflicted relationship with her mother Jude seems to be at the heart of her emotional angst, and she has dark secrets that come to her in nightmares.
Angela Irving is still heartbroken over her lost infant Alice. Her husband and other children have given up on her constant grief. But she hangs onto her hope. Something about the buried baby calls to her.
Jude, Emma’s mother, seems worried about what might be discovered about that baby, and her mind flits to memories of her great love for a man named Charlie…and then her relationship with a professor named Will Burnside, whom she cannot forget. She seems to blame Emma for losing these “loves of her life.”
Kate Waters, the reporter, is such an interesting character who searches for answers, interviews people who lived in the neighborhood where the baby was found, and gradually finds herself drawn more and more to the women who all seem to have a personal interest in the story. Her ferocious pursuit despite discouraging moments kept me intrigued, as she met with numerous characters, many of whom were troubling and sometimes unreliable.
I loved watching how she pushed ahead to find the answers…and then, just when I thought she had it all figured out, a startling twist turned everything upside down. Suddenly, out of the confusion, the clarity came. An unputdownable novel that earned 5 stars.
Firstly, and this may well have to do with my age, there were a lot of people to have to keep track of. I had to stop reading sometimes, sit back and conjure up my memory of that person. There were times I was bothered by having to do this. But this, actually, was also a behavior I enjoyed. It had been a long time since a book has caused me to stop and actively think about what I was reading... While I was still reading it. So it was both a pain and exciting.
Now that I've seen there was a previous book, I'm debating whether to read it. I'm intrigued to learn Kate is the protagonist in that one, but am wary about it being too sluggish at times.
I wonder if Barton named her investigator character, a journalist named Kate, in homage to Kate Atkinson. Because her two books really remind me, in all the best ways, of Atkinson's Jackson Brodie novels. She has Atkinson's deep empathy for her characters, her sense of humor, and her intelligence. The great pleasure of this book is watching how Kate's mind works. She's sharp, she's good at her job (even as she is being displaced from it), and she is sure-footed as she pursues one lead after another.
My only critique is that it becomes apparent, about halfway through the book, how the various characters are connected, and it takes a frustratingly long time for the characters to catch up to that realization.
I love Kate, the journalist with her drive and not so perfect life, just another human searching for a story and ultimately the truth.
If you can’t trust your mother, who can you trust?
Very disturbing and highly recommendable.