WHO TOOK SAMMY WENT?
“The Nowhere Child” opens in the present in Melbourne, Australia.
Kimberly (Kim) Leamy is eating lunch in the cafeteria of the school where she teaches photography. A man approaches her and introduces himself. His name is James Finn and he asks if her name is Kimberly Leamy. She asks him if he’s a teacher or a student at the school. He tells her he’s not from the school and proceeds to pull a photo out of a folder. It’s a picture of a young girl sitting in the grass. He asks her if the girl looks familiar. At first glance, Kim doesn’t think so, but when she looks at the photo a second time….she thinks the girl does look a little familiar.
James tells her that the girl’s name is Sammy Went; a two-year-old who went missing twenty-six years earlier from her home in Manson, Kentucky. The photo was taken on Sammy’s second birthday.
Three days later… Sammy was gone.
There were no witnesses to Sammy’s disappearance, there was no evidence, and no one called for ransom. Sammy simply disappeared.
Kim wonders what this man wants from her. James explains that he was close to the Went family and he believes Kim is connected to the Sammy Went case. Kim asks him if he thinks that SHE kidnapped Sammy. He tells her she is misunderstanding him…
“This little girl disappeared on April 3rd, 1990. She’s been missing for twenty-eight years. I don’t think you kidnapped Sammy Went I think you are Sammy Went”
Kim is a bit shook up by the conversation she had with the American man. However, she knows her mother would never have had anything to do with the abduction of a little girl. But she finds that she can’t dismiss everything the man said and so she starts researching the case. She finds articles about Sammy Went’s disappearance. She comes across a picture of Sammy’s parents, Molly and Jack. If she’s honest with herself she does see some resemblance between herself and Sammy’s parents.
It seems impossible, but Kim has to admit there is a part of her that wonders…
Kim decides to travel to Kentucky to see if she can get answers to the questions that have been plaguing her. But not everyone is happy that Kim is asking questions. Many people want her to leave it alone.
Will Kim find the answers she’s looking for?
“The Nowhere Child” was a compelling read that had my mind spinning as I tried to guess what happened. The story starts off strong. From Melbourne, Australia in the present to Manson, Kentucky in the past, we learn what happened to Sammy Went from a variety of characters with dark secrets. Back and forth the chapters alternate right up until the satisfying conclusion.
This was a unique and complex story with twists that I never saw coming. An impressive debut novel that tells a tale of family secrets, kidnapping, and religious conspiracies. I look forward to reading more from Christian White.
I’d like to thank Minotaur Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.