The Nowhere Child by Christian White
PUBLISHED BY AFFIRM PRESS
REVIEW BY KRIS WILLIAMS
The Nowhere Child is the debut novel of Christian White, who won the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Prize for an unpublished manuscript. It was well deserved.
Kim Leamy lives in Melbourne. She has a close family who are coming to terms with the death of their mother, and she teaches photography classes at TAFE a few nights a week. She lives an ordinary life.
One evening during a break from class she is approached by a man, James Finn, who believes she is Sammy Went, a child who went missing from a small Kentucky town in the US twenty-eight years earlier. He leaves a folder of information for her to look at.
At first, she doesn’t believe him, but the more she looks into her family history, the more questions she has. Was her mother keeping a secret? Did her father know more than he was telling her? Could she be this missing girl? Does she have another family who have been looking for her for so long?
She has no memories of any other life. The only way she can be sure is to go to Manson, Kentucky and unravel the mysterious disappearance of Sammy Went. She is accompanied by James Finn who has a secret of his own to share.
White has written the book in alternating chapters of ‘now’ and ‘then’, weaving a story of dysfunctional families, secrets, guilt, lies and cults. The novel keeps you guessing as any number of the characters could be responsible for the disappearance of Sammy Went. As Kim delves into the past, her own life is in danger as long kept secrets are revealed.
This book delivers twists and turns that surprise right up until the end. What a good read!
Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.