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This novel is exactly my favorite type of book - one that you cannot put down! The story is poignant and gripping. Naomi's job as a "child finder" is borne out of personal demons and she is driven to find as many missing children as she can, despite the emotional toll. As a protagonist, you could not ask for a more sympathetic subject. And you have to admire the grit of the little girl, Madison, in a terrible situation, but intent on survival.— Shirley Cagle
Alternating between the voice of the Child Finder who herself was once a missing child with a lost past and has been hired to find a missing and presumed dead young girl, and the voice of the imaginative and heart-rending Snow Girl, this evocative novel tells the story of looking for someone lost and ultimately finding oneself. This haunting novel will resonate with you long after you have finished it.— Tambra Johnson Reap
“In Rene Denfeld's new novel, a woman who searches for abducted or lost children must confront her own memoires of being abducted as a young girl. While searching for a girl recently kidnapped in her hometown, she is haunted by her past and the lies that she used to weave her present, lies that often took the form of stories. Meanwhile, the abducted girl must survive years of terror and heartbreak, all while constructing a magical mythology to shield herself from the atrocities of her captor. These characters, especially the women, are strong and imaginative. Readers who enjoyed Room will devour this literary thriller, which promises to open up Denfeld's readership to a much wider level.”
— William Carl (E), Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA
A haunting, richly atmospheric, and deeply suspenseful novel from the acclaimed author of The Enchanted about an investigator who must use her unique insights to find a missing little girl.
"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?"
Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight-years-old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as "the Child Finder," Naomi is their last hope.
Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl, too.
As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?
Told in the alternating voices of Naomi and a deeply imaginative child, The Child Finder is a breathtaking, exquisitely rendered literary page-turner about redemption, the line between reality and memories and dreams, and the human capacity to survive.
Rene Denfeld is an internationally bestselling author, journalist, licensed investigator, and therapeutic foster mother. She is the author of the novels The Child Finder and The Enchanted. She has also written for the New York Times Magazine, The Oregonian, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She lives in Portland, Oregon.