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The Nowhere Child    by Christian White order for
Nowhere Child
by Christian White
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Kimberly Leamy, who teaches photography in Melbourne, Australia, has her world turned upside down when she finds out that a genetic test has identified her as Sammy Went, stolen at age two from Manson, Kentucky. An American accountant, obsessed with the case for years, has tracked her down.

Kim's beloved mother, a tireless social worker, had died of cancer years before and Kim can't believe that she had anything to do with a kidnapping. Her stepfather Dean promised not to reveal the family secret and won't even when Kim confronts him. So she heads to the United States with the accountant (revealed as her brother Stuart), seeking answers.

The author moves back and forth in time to show what happened Then and what happens Now. Then, we see a highly dysfunctional family in Kentucky. The mother, Molly, is deeply involved with a cult-like fundamentalist group, Church of the Light Within, whose members handle venomous snakes and scorpions. The father, Jack, has not come out as gay, but is in a secret relationship with Travis Eckles, whose brother is in jail.

In America, Kim gradually meets her blood relatives, seeking answers - and she gets them in a shocking denouement, though she nearly disappears again first, for good this time.

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