Three years ago, at the tender age of five, Madison Culver was abducted from her loving parents while they innocently stopped at the side of the road in Oregon to search for a Christmas tree. Through vivid, painstakingly detailed flashbacks, Madison recounts her abusive life with the unnamed man who has taken her. To shield herself from her daily horrors, she creates a fantastical, dream-like world where she has been reborn as a fairy tale character called the snow girl. Meanwhile, in the present day, Naomi, the titular child finder, is hired by Madison’s parents to explore the icy wilds of the Pacific Northwest (and its frosty inhabitants) in the hopes of finding their little girl. Naomi’s mysterious past involving a long-forgotten abduction of her own forms the backbone of the equally visceral parallel narrative running through The Child Finder.
Author Rene Denfeld is best known for her award-winning novel The Enchanted, but it is this book that readers will recall years from now. Her lyrical, poetic storytelling displays her tremendous growth as a writer, and her depth of knowledge of investigative work (through her own years of experience working hundreds of missing persons cases) is fascinating to read in this otherwise fictional tale.
I highly recommend the haunting The Child Finder.
The Child Finder was provided by Harper Collins Canada in exchange for an honest review. It may be purchased from your friendly independent bookseller or other fine bookstores.