Thursday, October 8, 2020

Dear Child - Romy Hausmann

Romy Hausmann's international bestseller, Dear Child, has just released. And if you're a suspense reader, you're going to want to add this one to your must read list.

From Flatiron Books - "Gone Girl meets Room in this page-turning, #1 internationally bestselling thriller from one of Germany’s hottest new talents." Well, two books I've really enjoyed, so I was hooked by this description!

A woman escapes a locked and boarded cabin in the woods, only to be hit by an automobile. One child makes it out with her, the other stays behind. In hospital, the woman says her name is Lena. One family has been searching for their missing daughter Lena for fourteen years. Against all odds they pray that it's her. And the children? The girl who ran with Lena knows more than she's saying.

Okay, a few chapters in I thought I knew how this was going to play out. And....I was happily proven wrong. Hausmann had me guessing with each new chapter and revelation.

Now, Dear Child is a dark novel, as evidenced by the premise. But it was the puzzle of 'is this Lena' that had me turning pages late into the night. Lena is an unreliable narrator. I truly enjoy this literary gambit, seeing if I can ferret out the truth amongst the red herrings and garden paths Hausmann sends her readers down.

Dear Child is told from three points of view - Lena, Hannah the young girl and the captor Matthias. Each entry adds to the story - and the uncertainty of what is the truth. There are a number of supporting players - Lena's parents, old boyfriends etc. that also muddy the waters. I felt bad for Lena's father, but on the other hand, I truly despised him. Hausmann does a great job manipulating the reader and their emotions and perceptions. Lena is an enigma. We know little about her and when we do get some insight, I find I'm not sure about her at all. 

And the ending? Not what I expected at all. Again, I really appreciate being surprised by a book. Dear Child is an unpredictable, twisting, dark tale guaranteed to keep you up late. Read an excerpt of Dear Child.

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