I have been a huge fan of Rene Denfeld since her first novel The Enchanted came out in 2014. I place that novel in my top ten favorite books of all time. So, I have been waiting with baited breath for her next novel to come out. And I can tell you right now, The Child Finder
was worth the the wait.
The book centers around Naomi, a women hired at the start to find a lost little girl who has been missing for the three years. Most people have given up on ever finding Madison, but her parents still have belief that she is alive and needs to be found. Naomi has made of career of looking for lost children, and finding them a lot of the time. Madison is lost one day when her family goes up into the mountains of Oregon to cut down a Christmas tree. Her parents turn around, and she is gone. Though a search is completed, she nor her body are ever found. Naomi is very clear to the parents when she meets them that it is very likely that their daughter is dead. But after spending time in Madison's room, she takes the job and starts her search.
Described as a literary thriller, The Child Finder really is the story of Naomi searching for Madison. But intertwined through out the book are other stories too. Naomi has a troubling past of her own, and because of it she struggles to create intimate relationships. Also, there is the story of a little girl that calls herself The Snow Child. She awakes one day to find herself in a house with a man she does not know. Not understanding her past, she believes that she is the real life creation of the fairy tale The Snow Child, brought to life after being made of snow to fill the emptiness in one man's life. There is a lot that can be said about the plot of the book, but I do not want to give anything away. As I read the book, half of what I enjoyed was piecing together the puzzle and i would not want to take that away from you.
The power of this novel really is in the language. Ms. Denfeld paints such vivid portraits of the scenery, as well as the people that we meet on every page. You will feel the cold as Naomi searches the mountains for clues. You will feel the heartbreak of a mother who does not want to give up on her daughter being alive when everyone is telling her to move on. And most of all, you will understand the reasons that Naomi has become the woman she is and does the work that makes up her life.
I had the honor of hearing Ms. Denfeld speak about her book at Book Smart Bookstore in Morgan Hill, CA the other night. And she talked about how she wants her novel to respect the victim and what they have gone through. So, there is nothing graphic in this book. The stories that are told really focus on the power of the characters to overcome the adversity that has fallen into their lives. Naomi is a character that you are not going to forget. As she works to find lost children, she also comforts families, tells truths and becomes even more human. I was glad to hear that Ms. Denfeld has not been able to let go of Naomi yet, because neither have I.
This is an amazing book. It kept me on the edge of my seat with the plot and story and at the same time left me in awe of the amazing writing that was telling me the story. I think it is fair to say that Ms. Denfeld has written two of my favorite books. So please go out and read everything that Rene Denfeld has written - I promise it is worth your time.
Book Rating : 5 books