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The Stolen Child

A Novel

by Ann Hood

The Stolen Child by Ann Hood X
The Stolen Child by Ann Hood
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  • Published May 2024
    304 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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There are currently 20 member reviews
for The Stolen Child
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  • Gail K. (Saratoga Springs, NY)
    Poignant and heart warming
    From the first page, where I met Enzo, the man who runs The Museum of Tears in Naples in 1935, to the next chapter that introduced Nick, a young American soldier in a trench dug on the property of a farmhouse in France in 1917, to the following chapter set in 1973 that tells of Jenny, a young woman stuck in a dreary life, but who has big dreams, I was hooked. Ann Hood paints a marvelous picture of a lonely, guilt-ridden man and his companion, eager for a change in her life, on their quest to find the resolution to a long-held mystery. I couldn't put it down but deliberately slowed my reading as I approached the end, reluctant to finish this poignant, heart warming novel. I will recommend it to all my reading friends.
  • Beth P. (Chester, VA)
    This Book Has it All!
    This Book Has it All!

    It has been a long time since I sat and read a book for hours, almost finishing it in one sitting, were it not for the late hour. The Stolen Child, by Ann Hood has everything you might want in a book. The author manages to weave in a mystery that keeps you guessing, characters you will feel attached to, and the most incredible scenery that almost jumps off the page. Most of the story takes place in Italy, and I could almost smell the delicious foods that were described so well. The story is about an older man and a huge regret that he has carried with him since he was 18. He finds help in solving this mystery from a young girl looking for adventure.She is just beginning to find herself after a traumatic event in her own life and is eager to leave home. Together they set off for Italy and take you back and forth in time. I got attached to the characters very quickly and cared what happened to them, something that is hugely important to me when reading any book. It captivated me and I could not put it down. I have read other books by Ann Hood and loved each one. If you want to read a book that will touch your heart, this book will reach out to you from the beginning and never let go til the last page.
  • Kathrin C. (Corona, CA)
    Literary Pasta with Historical Sauce
    I think Ann Hood's latest novel, The Stolen Child, yields a very intriguing, tangled pasta made up of history, Italy, families, personal challenges, love and LIFE. Imagine in the 1970s a mismatched, out-of-the-ordinary trio traveling through France and Italy, trying to find out what happened to an abandoned baby during WW I: Nick Burns, harboring life-long guilt from his involvement then as a young soldier; Jenny, a young college dropout escaping her current go-nowhere life with a strong drive to prove herself; and Charlie Reynolds, travel guide extraordinaire. A delightful read covering multiple stories (some believable, some less so) and a few surprises along the way. And it will provide lots for discussion in a book group.
  • Susan W. (Hamilton, OH)
    Secrets. Influence your life
    I must confess that when I started this novel, I wasn't impressed, then skimmed through it and decided to finish reading it. By sixty pages in I was completely hooked and could not stop reading. Characters that I began to care about, a story and a mystery that seemed to have no possible solution, yet an ending that was believable and satisfying. I will read this a second time!
    A museum for tears seemed like a far-fetched idea for a museum but as the character of Enzo evolved, his collection of tears along with their one line descriptions painted an unusual picture of real people's hopes, dreams, and tragedies. Enzo's museum also showed him to be sensitive, kind, and caring. On to Jenny and Nick, both had secrets, for Nick a secret that had dominated his life; for Jenny, a secret that threatened to dominate her life. Jenny and Nick come together under strange circumstances to solve a mystery, take a trip through France and Italy looking for clues, and become involved with many secondary characters - some helpful, some not so helpful with secrets of their own. The literary references as well as the street names and landmarks in the various towns are a special bonus evoking memories if the reader is familiar with the literature and the places. The structure of the book with chapters that alternate among Enzo's, Jenny's, and Nick's perspectives add to the plot and character development. The descriptions throughout the book are vivid. I definitely enjoyed this book!
  • Becky T. (Apollo, PA)
    A must read!
    Thank you to Book Browse and W. W. Norton for this great read!

    5.0

    Entrust, mystery, unravel…

    The Stolen Child has several storylines:

    1917- American soldier Nick Burns is in a trench on a French farm. He paints a mural on the trench wall while waiting for the Germans to arrive. Camille, who lives on the farm with her husband, gives Nick her newborn baby and some of her personal paintings, saying, "Save them."

    1935-1970s - Enzo and his brother Massimo are craftsmen in Naples, Italy, specializing in Nativities.

    1973 - Rhode Island IHOP waitress Jenny loves everything Italy. She answers an ad to accompany a dying man, Nick Burns, to France "to look for a baby." Except now this "baby" would be approximately 60 years old!

    A tale of doubt, decisions with long-term consequences, secrets, regrets, fate, and forgiveness. What happened to a vanished artist and an abandoned baby?

    AVAILABLE May 7, 2024

    THOUGHTS:

    I knew on page 1 that I was going to like this book! I read it in one day! This will likely be in my top reads for 2024!

    A WWI story that doesn't dwell on the war. This story is definitely a well-developed character-driven story.

    So descriptive, starting on page 1 when recounting Enzo & his Nativities.

    This is such an ageless story! The Stolen Child was definitely a page-turner. I couldn't wait to learn Nick's story!

    A spellbinding story; heart-wrenching at times.

    I have not read this author before but will be checking her backlist .
  • Judi R. (Jericho, NY)
    How past actions haunt the present
    Thank you to Book Browse and W.W. Norton for an Advanced Reader's Copy of The Stolen Child by Ann Hood. Much of this novel addresses repercussions of decisions that the characters made in their pasts and how these actions haunted them throughout their lives. An unlikely duo get together to try and resolve the past before it is too late. In addition to a wonderful story that takes the reader from WWI to the 1970s, the author presents a travelogue describing the sights, food and art of France and Italy. Both of these lost characters help each other to heal and eventually find peace and love. I would have liked closure for all of the characters I met along the way but I appreciate that that would have been unrealistic. Hood did a particularly good job with the pacing of the story. She built up tension as the characters race against time to find resolution.
  • Diane J. (Grove City, PA)
    Grab your backpack and go on a literary Eural Pass journey!
    Imagine a typical American collegiate, dreaming of the romance and adventure of travel abroad. Ann Hood will help to take you there with her most recent book, The Stolen Child. The author provides a strong sense of place for Italy and France, most likely from her own extensive travel experience.

    Formatted in multiple timelines, Hood balances the perspectives of a young soldier in the Great War with a college coed dropout from 1970s Providence, Rhode Island. Their stories are linked together in an engaging way.

    The novel is character rich with personal stories clearly in the foreground and the historical elements of WWI and life in the 1970s in the background. You are gently led through the horrors of the Great War without feeling as entrenched in them. There is an additional timeline that fits in between the other two that takes you further into the romance and cultural history of Italy.

    The conclusion felt a bit rushed. This could be the result of stacking resolution for several life stories towards the end. So, although it wasn't a five-star read for me, I still thoroughly enjoyed the journey.
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