Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Child Finder - A Book Review


The Child Finder
The Child Finder
This is something I know:  No matter how far you have run, no matter how long you have been lost, it is never too late to be found.

What can desperate parents do when their worst nightmare comes true?  Where do they turn when their child has gone missing and all hope seems lost?  In The Child Finder, by Rene Denfeld, they turn to Naomi, a woman who has known the raw reality of what it is to be lost, and what it takes to be found.

Three years ago, on what should have been a joyous holiday excursion, five-year-old Madison Culver went missing while her family was seeking the perfect Christmas tree.  Countless search and rescue missions in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest turned up no clue of Madison’s fate.  She seemingly disappeared without a trace.

Not wanting to give up on finding their daughter, and clinging to the barest hope that she might still be alive, the Culvers' turn to Naomi, a former lost child with a reputation for finding the unfindable.  Having survived her own childhood abduction, Naomi will stop at nothing to follow the instincts and intuition born of her still mysterious past.

Where are you, Madison Culver?  Flying with the angels, a silver speck on a wing?  Are you dreaming, buried under snow?  Or—is it possible—you are still alive?

The search for Madison is, at the same time, the search for something Naomi senses she lost while being found.  Will the revelation of what really happened to Madison, and Naomi, be a becoming, or an undoing?  Are buried secrets best left alone, or will their unveiling allow Naomi to finally open herself up to all that has been missing in her life?

The Child Finder is breathtaking.  This novel's interwoven themes of resilience, love, hope, despair, loss, fear, and redemption will stay with you long after you read the very last sentence of this book.  Highly recommended.










Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

15 comments:

  1. I honestly can't imagine a worse nightmare! Books written on the subject of child abduction haunt me without even having to read them. Both of my children are grown and I could handle reading this book now. I have already read several fiction books and watched multiple movies about child abduction since they graduated from college. However, when they were in elementary school, I would have shunned this book (or any movie on the subject) like the plague. Actually, I'm not sure that fear of something horrific happening to your child ever leaves you. We simply pray that as adults they are more aware themselves of the evil in this world. Since you have reviewed the book and have recommended it, I trust that I can handle it.

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    2. I am always leery of reading about child abduction, as one who has made the cause of thriving children her life's mission. Still, I felt compelled to read this book because it is brilliantly conceived and written. I love exceptional writing. Yes, there are portions of the book that will be hard to read, because those who abduct children are very sick. These kinds of books haunt us because we fear the evil that exists within reach of those we love. I can totally understand that any parent of a young child recoils when considering any instance of a child going missing, or worse, enduring any kind of abuse or mortal fear. At no point did I feel like I had to set this book down and walk away from it. Once started, I felt I had to know what happened to Madison and Naomi (because I deeply cared about them). I think it's healthy to face our fears in doses that we can handle and process over time. That is perhaps why books like this one are necessary.

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  2. What a wonderful and compelling review. Sadly this is all too true in the world we live in today. A true nightmare for parents. Whenever I see things like this on the news I can't help but think and worry about our own grandchildren. Thanks for the great review.

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    1. Your grandchildren are blessed to have someone like you watching over them... protecting them. We can't be too careful these days. Thank you for making time to stop by and share your thoughts. Always good to see you and connect. May the children in your life know great safety at all times.

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  3. Sounds like a compelling book about a serious subject. The title itself is hopeful though, "The Child Finder" conveys that children are found so I would read it.

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    1. Yes... hope is the key factor. It would be too heartbreaking to read about child abduction if there were no happy endings. Although, "happy" is perhaps always seasoned with great sadness.

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  4. A compelling book review for sure, Diana. Child abduction is a difficult subject to read about, especially the sadness and fear the parents experience, but now I need to know the ending. I will be reading this book.

    We 'lost' our youngest twice (at age 4 and again at age 5) presenting a very scary couple of hours before finding him again. Naturally not an abduction for sure, but the fears were similar. He was (and still is some 40 years later) an adventurous child who just went and did what appealed to him without realizing no one else knew where he had decided to go. A disappearance can happen in a moment with other people around.

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    1. Those had to be extremely terrifying hours for you and your family. It is scary how fast a child can go missing. So very thankful your son was found (and with only an adventure for the telling). I went missing for a few hours when I was about three years old. My parents found me clear across town with a neighbor boy (also very young). We ended up at his father's auto repair shop. It shook my mother to the core.

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  5. I had just vowed to stop reading fiction for a while so I could catch up on the work I'm behind on since my health issues started. But I really want to read this one. I gave my own parents quite a scare when I was in fifth grade and decided to go inside and read while waiting at a fellow band member's home for our carpool driver to arrive. The other kids were supposed to get me and forgot I was inside. The driver called my mom to say I was missing.

    Meanwhile, the driver seemingly got the message and circled back when one of the kids remembered I had been there. She took me on to practice. She forgot to tell Mom I'd been found. We had had a kidnapping story in the paper a few months before, so, of course, Mom panicked. I won't finish that story here, but I can imagine how I would have felt if either of my children had gone missing and I suspected foul play. Even when Jason died in an accident, I thanked God he died doing something he loved with friends instead of at the hands of a human monster, alone and helpless. I did not have to imagine him being in agony.

    I'm adding this book to the list of those I want to read when I decide I can start reading again. It sounds like a book I'd want to read without stopping. Thanks for your review.

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    1. It would be beyond devastating to live with the constant thoughts of how a child might have suffered at the hands of someone evil. I'm glad your story ended up positively. Those of us who have been entrusted with the lives of other people's children (as a teacher, in my case) especially feel the need for hyper vigilance. I would never get over losing a child in my care. I'm very sorry about your son.

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  6. I find that books and movies with situations involving children are hard to take. I like that you shared with us that this book also offers "resilience, love, hope, despair, loss, fear, and redemption."

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    1. There has to be something powerful to balance out the dark side of humanity.

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  7. Like most here I can't watch child abduction movies or books. I have watched a few movies over the years though, and it was difficult. This book does sound like an interesting read and your closing paragraph has me wanting to learn more about the story. Like most moms, watching my kids when they were young, as much as was possible was my priority. Despite that we lost track of one of our boys at a water park for half an hour when he was very young and we were beside ourselves. I was so terrified I can't possibly describe the horror. The park staff were amazing, everything went into lockdown immediately! The terror for that half hour in my life was unbelievable. Just quite by coincidence my sister had said to the kids in the car as we were parking, 'if anyone gets lost go find one of the park staff wearing the white shirts to ask for help' - that's what my little guy did! It had never happened before and never happened again with any of our kids. Strangely that instruction my sister gave was also something we had never done, just by coincidence on that day. I say, divine intervention. So scary though.

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    1. I don't believe in chance. Your sister almost surely was led to say the words that would make a true difference on that day. So thankful for you and your son.

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