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Book review: The Nowhere Child by Christian White

A child goes missing in the US, only to be found decades later on the other side of the world. Who wouldn’t want to read a book about the search for the truth of what happened?

I was certainly fascinated by the premise of the story of The Nowhere Child by Australian author Christian White. I wanted to know who took the child and what happened between the kidnapping and the woman being found as an adult. And the story didn’t disappoint.

White weaves a bizarre American cult which incorporates snakes into its worship, infidelity and murder into this tale that twists and turns enough to keep the reader interested, somehow without seeming ridiculous or too unbelievable.

The ending wraps up the story nicely, answering questions and leaving enough unsaid to enable the reader’s imagination to fill in the gaps.

While I’ve been reading quite a few crime books lately, from The Dry to Wimmera and Resurrection Bay, this one is quite different in its location, mainly in the US, with themes that are noticeably different to other books that centre on small town crime.

After listening to Christian White on the Stories Behind the Story podcast, this book is even more appealing. I loved the story of how he was in London when he heard the novel had won a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award , and as it was the middle of the night and he didn’t want to wake his wife, he just walked around the city with a huge grin on his face.

In the podcast, White told of his long-held desire to be a writer, first of comic books when he was a child, and later, of novels. It’s heartwarming to hear of such a dream coming true.


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