REVIEW – The Nowhere Child by Christian White

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Published: January 22nd, 2019 by Minotaur Books

 

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.

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Shabby Sunday -The Peanut Butter Hamster and Other Animal Tails (1979)

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Shabby Sunday” is a meme created by Mischenko @ ReadRantRock&Roll

When you have a chance, you should really check out her fantastic blog. She has many great book reviews, awesome memes, and a lot of other fun stuff.

“Shabby Sunday” is a great place to share your vintage books, heirlooms, or old books from your childhood. If you would like to participate and share some of your vintage books feel free to use the picture Mischenko has provided. Please remember to link back to Mischenko so she can see the book you’re sharing. I’d love to see your post too!

 

The book I am sharing is:

 

The Peanut Butter Hamster and Other Animal Tails

Published June 1st, 1979 by Victor Books

This was one of my favorite books when I was young. It’s well worn and there’s even some tape holding part of it together. I remember my mother reading the stories to me and then reading them myself as I got older.

I couldn’t find the book for the longest time but then remembered that I also read the stories to my daughter when she was little. Sure enough, I found the book on one of her bookshelves.

The story I remember most is the title story, “The Peanut Butter Hamster.” A boy loses his hamster and the family decides to leave a plate of peanut butter out to tempt the hamster out of wherever he is hiding in the house. A simple story but I loved it. The other stories and poems were also good but that’s the one that sticks out the most.

 

 

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I’ve been enjoying everyone’s “Shabby Sunday” posts and I am looking forward to reading more of them!

Happy reading everyone!!

REVIEW – I Invited Her In by Adele Parks

I Invited Her In

Published February 5,  2019 by Mira Books

 

I had this novel on my list of upcoming books that I really wanted to read so when I won a copy through Goodreads, I was excited.

Imagine the worst thing a friend could ever do”

 “This is worse”

Those two lines had me quite intrigued!

Mel is a happily married mother of three. Before she met her husband Ben, it was just her and her son, Liam against the world. Then she married Ben and they had two children together.

One day Mel is scrolling through her email when a familiar name catches her eye stopping her in her tracks. The email’s subject line says “It’s been too long”.   The message is from her old University friend, Abigail Curtiz.  Mel remembers how supportive Abi had been when Mel got pregnant with Liam. But they haven’t seen each other in over 17 years.

After a moment’s hesitation, she opens the message….

Eventually, she will regret opening that email.

It turns out Abi is getting divorced and is coming home to London for a visit. She asks Mel if she would like to meet for a drink. Mel is unsure about meeting Abi. It’s been so long and they’ve led very different lives. But then she impulsively invites Abi to come to see her and meet her family. She’s pretty sure Abi won’t accept the invite.

“You could come for the day or stay for a weekend. Well, whatever works, stay as long as you like!”

Mel receives an almost immediate response from Abi telling her she’d LOVE to visit. Mel is surprised but also excited.

Abi arrives and the two old friends enjoy catching up. However. Abi takes Mel’s “stay as long as you like” to heart. Time passes and Abi doesn’t appear to be making plans to leave. Mel doesn’t want to push Abi into leaving. Her husband Ben, on the other hand, has different feelings about the entire situation.

Mel has always been fascinated by Abi’s life.  But is Abi’s life really so wonderful?

Then EVERYTHING changes after one of their Girl’s Night Out.

Most of the story is told from Mel and Abi’s point of view, but there are also chapters told from other characters perspectives. I figured out a few things early on, but I was still shocked as some things were revealed. The characters in this story triggered many emotions in me. Abi is one of those characters that many readers may love to hate.

I did feel like the novel could have been a bit shorter. There was a lot of detail and there were times I found myself skimming through the pages.

Overall, I thought this was an interesting domestic suspense novel about friendship, jealousy, betrayal, and revenge.

I’d like to thank MIRA for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

 

Teaser Tuesday – March 19, 2019

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purple Booker.

It is very easy to play along:

• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

Here are my “teasers” :

 

“Only days ago, Kate had been mulling over what to get her mother for Christmas. She couldn’t have known that instead of choosing a gift, she’d be picking out her casket.”

 

From the novel:

 

The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine

The Last Time I Saw You

Expected publication: May 7, 2019 by Harper

 

Goodreads Description:

The internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish follows that success with an addictive novel filled with shocking twists about the aftermath of a brutal high-society murder.

Dr. Kate English has it all. Not only is she the heiress to a large fortune; she has a gorgeous husband and daughter, a high-flying career, and a beautiful home anyone would envy.

But all that changes the night Kate’s mother, Lily, is found dead, brutally murdered in her own home. Heartbroken and distraught, Kate reaches out to her estranged best friend, Blaire Barrington, who rushes to her side for the funeral, where the years of distance between them are forgotten in a moment.

That evening, Kate’s grief turns to horror when she receives an anonymous text: You think you’re sad now, just wait. By the time I’m finished with you, you’ll wish you had been buried today. More than ever, Kate needs her old friend’s help.

Once Blaire decides to take the investigation into her own hands, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems in Baltimore high society. As infidelity, lies, and betrayals come to light, and tensions rise to a boiling point, she begins to alienate Kate’s friends and relatives with her relentless, accusatory questions, as she tries to find Lily’s killer. The murderer could be anyone—friend, neighbor, loved one. But whoever it is, it’s clear that Kate is next on their list. . .

In The Last Time I Saw You, Liv Constantine takes the lightning pace of The Last Mrs. Parrish and raises the stakes, creating an exquisitely tension-filled and absorbing tale of psychological suspense in which innocent lives—and one woman’s sanity—hang in the balance.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed Liv Constantine’s previous novel, The Last Mrs. Parrish.  After reading the description and the first few pages of this novel, I’m really looking forward to reading more!

I hope you enjoyed my teasers!

Happy Reading!