Publication Date: September 21,
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Length: 432 pages
Buy: Kindle | Paperback
In the rugged Pacific Northwest lies the Olympic National Forest—nearly a
million acres of impenetrable darkness and impossible beauty. From deep
within this old growth forest, a six-year-old girl appears. Speechless and
alone, she offers no clue as to her identity, no hint of her past.
Having retreated to her western Washington hometown after a scandal left
her career in ruins, child psychiatrist Dr. Julia Cates is determined to
free the extraordinary little girl she calls Alice from a prison of
unimaginable fear and isolation. To reach her, Julia must discover the
truth about Alice’s past—although doing so requires help from Julia’s
estranged sister, a local police officer. The shocking facts of Alice’s
life test the limits of Julia’s faith and strength, even as she struggles
to make a home for Alice—and for herself.
This is the 2nd Kristin Hannah book I've read and I now understand why so many people rave about her books. Her writing speaks to me in a way that gets under my skin and makes me feel for her characters. This book is also a commentary on the media and how it can ruin a life very quickly and it doesn't forget or forgive. Julia Cates gets caught in the media storm surrounding a shooting by a teenager she was treating, looking for someone to blame they turned on her. Now she finds herself torn between putting herself out there to help a young girl and believing the media frenzy about how horrible she is. Her confidence shattered she decides to try.
I was mesmerized by the young wild girl who escapes the forrest. The determination and will she has to survive and the fear that holds her back. All of the supporting characters have their own struggles and hidden flaws which also make them more believable. Her sister, so much like their father only seems to focus on herself, not really seeing that what she has been looking for has been right in front of her. The doctor whose painful past he is still trying to run from, afraid of feeling again he closes himself off and only connects on a superficial level.
This book is about family, what makes a family, what it means to go home and how to open your heart to love. Its also about judgement and blame and how that can erode a persons belief in themselves. Superbly written this is a great book.
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