Dear Child: Book summary and reviews of Dear Child by Romy Hausmann

Dear Child

by Romy Hausmann

Dear Child by Romy Hausmann X
Dear Child by Romy Hausmann
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Book Summary

A woman held captive finally escapes - but can she ever really get away?

A windowless shack in the woods. A dash to safety. But when a woman finally escapes her captor, the end of the story is only the beginning of her nightmare.

She says her name is Lena. Lena, who disappeared without a trace 14 years prior. She fits the profile. She has the distinctive scar. But her family swears that she isn't their Lena.

The little girl who escaped the woods with her knows things she isn't sharing, and Lena's devastated father is trying to piece together details that don't quite fit. Lena is desperate to begin again, but something tells her that her tormentor still wants to get back what belongs to him…and that she may not be able to truly escape until the whole truth about what happened in the woods finally emerges.

Twisty, suspenseful, and psychologically clever, Romy Hausmann's Dear Child is a captivating thriller with all the ingredients of a breakout hit.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[O]utstanding...The multiple points of view and numerous plot twists sustain the breakneck pacing, but the book's real power lies in the author's insightful and sensitive portrayal of the characters involved in the tragedy. This darkly disturbing thriller definitely marks Hausmann as a writer to watch." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[T]he author has failed to make the central characters seem like real people, and the supporting ones are barely outlined...The plot is sufficiently creepy and twisty, but without well-developed characters, the reader's buy-in will be limited." - Kirkus Reviews

"A peerless exercise in suspense...Whether treated as a study in trauma and identity or a dark, well-crafted crime narrative from multiple perspectives, it is a nail-biting fare." - Financial Times (UK)

"Terrifying and fiercely compelling, this is heartbreaking." - Daily Mail (UK)

"Hausmann makes you care about her characters even while they keep you guessing." - Sunday Express (UK)

"Told from multiple viewpoints which gives a satisfying complexity...An intelligent and original book." - Sunday Independent (UK)

"Dear Child is a chilling, original and mesmerizing work. Hausmann is a force to be reckoned with. You can't stop reading." - David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Memory Man

"If you only read one thriller this year, choose this one. Room meets Gone Girl in this gripping novel, which will haunt you long after the last page. Deliciously dark, original, and beautifully written, I loved this book." - Alice Feeney, New York Times bestselling author of Sometimes I Lie

"Dear Child is one of the best thrillers I've read this year. I finished it in one sitting. It's flawlessly plotted with a pace that refuses to let the reader come up for air―not that you'd want to." - Stephanie Wrobel, bestselling author of Darling Rose Gold

This information about Dear Child shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Reader Reviews

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Cloggie Downunder

A gripping and thought-provoking read.
Dear Child is the third novel by best-selling German author, Romy Hausmann. It’s a hit-and-run car accident that brings unconscious Lena and her daughter, Hannah, to the hospital emergency department in Cham. As Lena is treated, Sister Ruth talks to Hannah. What she learns from this poised, controlled young girl sets off alarm bells: within a short time, a late-night call is made to parents in Munich.

Matthias Beck and his wife, Karin immediately set out for Cham, near the Czech border: even waiting until morning is too long to find out if the woman is their daughter, their Lena, missing for almost fourteen years. Police are searching for an isolated cabin in the woods, and a boy called Jonathan: Hannah’s brother. Will Matthias and Karin finally have an answer?

There are three narrative strands: Matthias gives the perspective of the heart-broken father who has never stopped searching; Jasmin’s is a second-person narrative addressed to Lena and details some of her ordeal; Hannah’s words, with dictionary definitions, encyclopaedic facts, rules and schedules, but also glimpses of violence, succinctly illustrates the conditions under which Lena and her children lived in the cabin in the woods.

Of course, it quickly becomes apparent that Hannah is an unreliable narrator, including what are clearly fantasies, and not revealing all she knows. Some of what she says will leave the reader gasping. Nor can Matthias be completely relied upon, while Jasmin’s mental state after her escape also affects her perceptions.

What a brilliantly-plotted, twisty tale Hausmann gives the reader! There are plenty of red herrings keep the reader guessing until the final chapters, and even after the dramatic denouement, there are more surprises in store. Hausmann describes the power of the media to colour the public perception of an incident by questioning the virtue of the victim, and also demonstrates how powerlessness can drastically influence the choices one makes. A gripping and thought-provoking read.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Quercus

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Author Information

Romy Hausmann

Romy Hausmann lives with her family at a remote house in the woods in Stuttgart, Germany. Dear Child is her English-language debut.

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