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The Stolen Child by Ann Hood

The Stolen Child

A Novel

by Ann Hood

  • Critics' Consensus:
  • Published:
  • May 2024
    304 pages
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  • Regina G. (Groveland, FL)
    A wonderful gem
    This book shares the life of a man, Nick, facing a gut-wrenching decision during war that shapes his entire existence. As he nears life's end, he revisits his past, supported by unforgettable companions. The characters are compelling and memorable—I found myself longing to know their futures beyond the story.

    The setting is beautifully shared, with a suspenseful quest to uncover 'le petit chou' keeping the pages turning. Nick's poignant struggle and its profound impact are deeply moving, while Jenny's evolution and final decisions are heartening.

    This novel is a gem that will lift your spirits and also break your heart a little. It weaves elements of intrigue and heartfelt moments into a deeply moving story.
  • Bonne O. (Hartwell, GA)
    The Impossible Quest
    I really enjoyed The Stolen Child because the characters motivations seemed real and their task appeared impossible. As the tortured WWI vet and his college dropout assistant undertook the mission to find a child from WWI, I immediately became engrossed in their journey. With no professional experience, they cleverly start to unravel the mystery of the past. There are the inevitable twists and turns, ups and downs, discoveries and setbacks but through it all you get to witness personal growth, enlightenment and self realization.
  • Chris (CA)
    The Stolen Child
    At the beginning, I was curious how the seemingly very different story lines in this book would eventually intersect. A story of lost souls looking for forgiveness for past decisions and actions. The writing is beautiful and descriptive, as is the story telling. Character development was good, and I cared about what happened to them. I really liked this book. So many topics for book clubs to tackle. I will look for more books by this author.
  • Linda J. (Urbana, OH)
    The Stolen Child Stole My Mind and Heart
    A story to keep the reader guessing until very close to the end. Multiple characters whose stories start separately end up intertwining when curmudgeon Nick, a dying WW I veteran, places an ad for someone to help him solve a problem that has bothered him for close to 60 years.

    Jennifer is a young college dropout working at an IHOP answers the ad. Soon, despite Nick's concerns, the two are off to France to see if they can find out what happened to a woman and a baby that Nick met at the end of the war.
    Beautiful writing unveil a beautiful story strong on emotional tugs and ties. A few periphery characters move in and out of the story, but all story lines merge at the end for an edifying finish.

    Since there is a scattering of French and Italian phrases, depending on where the detective work takes Nick and Jennifer, I was thrilled that even after more than 50 years, my three years of high school French are still functional.
  • Lesley F. (San Diego, CA)
    A Storyteller's Great Gift to Readers
    The Stolen Child by Ann Hood clearly was written by a very good author and great storyteller. Storytellers are a gift to humanity. The title comes from a poem by W.B. Yeats, some of the characters have a connection to Pablo Neruda - the story is told so poetically that one almost expects to hear a rhyme sooner or later! There is more than one artist in this story and their works are described so carefully that one can envision the work almost perfectly. The tale begins near the end of the First World War in France and ends over 50 years later in Italy...and along the way solves more than one mystery, explains and resolves more than one heartbreak, and has involved the reader intimately in this powerful, believable, human story. All my book groups will hear about it!
  • Carole P. (Natick, MA)
    The Stolen Child
    Once again Ann Hood's writing draws you into the story, transports you to another time and place, then makes you need to keep reading until the end. It's been awhile since I last read her and I had forgotten what a wonderful writer she is. Thank you BookBrowse for reminding me.

    Nick Burns had met a young woman artist at the end of World War One. She hands him her baby and then disappears. Nick leaves the baby in a trench, hoping that someone will find and care for him. Fifty some years later, he tries to find that baby.
  • SueZ
    The Stolen Child
    Ann Hood’s new book tells a bittersweet story of a search for atonement and for freedom from past mistakes. During a hurried journey across France and Italy, a seriously ill man and the young woman caring for him, find that the answers are there for them to discover in the end.

    This is a book that is tailor made for a book club discussion, dealing with very human and relatable questions.
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