The Night Child


A Novel

By Anna Quinn

Blackstone Publishing

Pub Date Jan. 30, 2018


All Nora Brown wants is to teach high school English and live a quiet life in Seattle with her husband and six-year-old daughter. But one November day, moments after dismissing her class, a girl’s face appears above the students’ desks—a wild numinous face with startling blue eyes, a face floating on top of shapeless drapes of purples and blues where arms and legs should have been. Terror rushes through Nora’s body—the kind of raw terror you feel when there’s no way out, when every cell in your body, your entire body, is on fire—when you think you might die.

Twenty-four hours later, while on Thanksgiving vacation, the face appears again. This time, it whispers, Remember the Valentine’s dress. Shaken once again, Nora meets with neurologists and eventually, a psychiatrist. As the story progresses, a terrible secret is discovered—a secret that pushes Nora toward an even deeper psychological breakdown.

The Night Child is a breathtaking debut novel about split consciousness, saving a broken child, and the split between past and present. It’s about the extraordinary capacity within each of us to save ourselves through visionary means.

Advance Praise

“I loved this book so much…I entered Quinn’s book and lost myself and exited her book changed. She is hanging with the big dogs with this work…like Jodi Picoult and Ann Patchett. For me this book is about destruction and creation. It revolves around the early destruction of a child and her recreation (survival) as an adult, the destruction of an adult once her past explodes into her present tense and her recreation-tenuous but real-into the next chapter of her life…Readers will love it.”
-Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water and The Book of Joan

“What I had not expected was the surprise of being so completely in character with someone experiencing the kind of disassociation Quinn portrays. I don’t think I have ever read such a strong rendition from the inside of such a dilemma, and more complexly, she made me care about Nora and identify with her. That’s a very wonderful and difficult accomplishment.”
-Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina and Cavedweller

“Packed with riveting detail and radical emotional honesty, motored by a powerful (what I think of as a “life depends upon it”) authorial voice, this book does at least fifteen things novels are not supposed to be able to do.  I won’t name them, but I will tell you that it will stand you up against yourself in all the best ways possible. You will love this night child, and she will remind you to love the night child inside you. I can’t remember a novel in which I have been more deeply emotionally invested. “

-Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness and Contents May Have Shifted


“Stay with this book, this author. She will tell you the galvanizing story

of how the world ends and how it begins again: child by child.”

— Rikki Ducornet, author of Brightfellow and Netsuke.


“In her absorbing debut The Night Child, Anna Quinn melds an escalating domestic drama with a sharp psychological thriller. The result: a flat-out page-turner that will have readers riveted as Quinn seamlessly, breathlessly, explores the result of an identity irrevocably fractured in childhood and one woman’s struggle to ease the girl she once was, protect her own young daughter, and reclaim sanity.”

-Adrianne Harun, author of A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain


A Note From the Publisher

Author Biography: Anna Quinn owns the Writers’ Workshoppe and Imprint Bookstore in Port Townsend, Washington. She is a published poet and essayist with twenty-six years of experience teaching and leading writing workshops across the country. She writes on a tiny tugboat.

For more reviews: