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.
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.
“You’ve been guarding this secret for a lifetime, Nora,” he says gently. “You don’t have to anymore. You don’t need to. It’s the secrets that make us sick; it’s the telling that heals.”
This is one of the most beautifully written accounts of how powerful the mind is. This is most definitely a riveting story of strength, recovery, and overcoming the demons that sometimes take over your feelings and everything inside of you.
Nora’s past will haunt her in ways she doesn’t understand. She is a wife, a mother, a teacher and a seemingly everyday “normal” woman. Despite watching her mother die as a young girl and being left by her father, she doesn’t “feel” broken. She has accepted everything… Or so she thought. The first time she sees a girls face appear out of nowhere, she’s convinced her mind is playing tricks on her. She convinces herself she imagined it, but when it happens again she decides she needs to talk to someone. After she begins dredging up her past, and begins to address things she never imagined. She soon finds herself torn apart and her world falling to pieces, until she begins to face it and realizes healing is a long process.
I’ll admit that this book was a little bit of a challenge for me personally. I never wanted to stop reading but I had to put in down a few times. The way Anna Quinn weaves Nora’s past and the healing process was masterfully done! This is a book I would recommend to many. I absolutely loved this book!