The Child by Fiona Barton

The Child

Fiona Barton

A dead baby's body is found, buried for years, affecting the lives of three women. Journalist Kate Waters goes to investigate what happens to the baby but realizes: you can bury the story but you can't hide the truth.

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The author of the stunning New York Times bestseller The Widow returns with a brand-new novel of twisting psychological suspense.

As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell…


Advance Galley Reviews

The Child by Fiona Barton is the story of two infants – one who disappeared from a hospital room years ago and one found buried at a building site. Alternating chapters depict perspectives of the women whose stories surround these children. Their feelings permeate the book and make it a psychological mystery much more so than a thriller. Given the number of characters and the relationships, the ending is not really a surprise, but getting there is an entertaining reading journey. Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/05/the-child.html. Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program.

So sorry - expired before I had a chance to read it!

Once again, Fiona Barton completes a masterpiece! I received an advance copy of The Child through Penguin's First to Read program. Having read The Widow, I was excited to read another book by Fiona Barton. Her writing is incredible and memorable. In The Child, she weaves a story through multiple points of view, where a baby's remains are found after many years. The mystery involves the baby's identity, as well as how the baby came to be buried in an old neighborhood that included both long-term families and transients. There were many twists and turns in this novel, and every time I thought I knew where it was going, something else happened to change my way of thinking. In the end, I was surprised, but as a looked back, it was a convincing end, and tied a lot of the perspectives together. Great job! I can't wait for her next book! This review can be found at dmjreader.blogspot.com and goodreads.com.

I really enjoyed this read! I highly recommend!

The Child was completely entrancing. I love the way Fiona Barton keeps the reader engaged by giving them just enough information to keep them hanging. I really would not have thought the book would have ended the way it did, but man, what a great ending. Totally surprised me. I will definitely recommend this novel to some of my friends.

I totally LOVED The Child by Fiona Barton. This mysterious and suspenseful story unfolds over a period of about a year (2012-2013), with flashbacks added from the 1970’s and 80’s. Each chapter alternates between four characters: Emma, Kate, Angela, and Jude. Emma is the main character and her chapters are told in first person point of view. Emma is a troubled young married woman who has a dark secret that haunts her and has practically taken over her entire life. She rarely leaves her home and forces herself to even work from home. Emma is married to an older gentleman named Paul. Paul feels bad for her and tries to help but he is totally unaware of the burdensome secret Emma is carrying. I didn’t like Emma at first but as the story progressed I had a different view of her. The next character in the story is Kate, a reporter working for a newspaper called The Post. Kate is an old-school investigative reporter who finds herself in the middle of a mystery…trying to identify a newborn baby skeleton that was found on a local building construction site. Kate’s chapters are told in 3rd person. I really liked Kate, she is pretty tough and wasn’t just after the story as a reporter. You could tell she actually cared about the people she was writing about. Another character is Angela Irving, the mother of a newborn baby named Alice that disappeared from the maternity ward soon after her birth in the 1970’s. Angela has spent many years trying to keep herself together for her surviving family…husband Nick and now two grown children. Angela has obviously never forgotten Alice and agonizes over what had become of her baby. You can’t help but feel for Angela. Her chapters are told in 3rd person. The author kept me interested throughout. The multiple points of view worked well, was easy to follow since the chapters were fairly short. The ending…wow didn’t see that coming. I love books that throw you for a loop and this one surely did. I would highly recommend this book and I would definitely read more by this author.***** 5 STARS ***** Thank you Fiona Barton, Berkley Books and Penguin's First-to-Read program for providing me with a digital copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review.

Angela and Nick's daughter Alice disappeared years ago but Angela still hasn't allowed herself to forget the day that the child went missing while she took time for herself for a shower in the hospital after giving birth. When the bones of a baby are unearthed during a construction project, Angela can't help but think that it might be Alice. Kate is looking for a way to assure that she avoids the layoffs that seem to have become routine in her newsroom and is looking for a story that will put her back on the front page when she decides to investigate the story of the remains of the baby. Who is the baby and why was it buried there are just the first of the questions the discovery leads to. I was not a huge fan of the character Kate. She seemed to be a bit of a cliche of a reporter; the ambulance chaser that tries to get the picture of the mother who falls apart after hearing about the death of her child. At one point, Kate ponders, "It seemed everyone was jumping up and down about the press and their methods of getting information" but then Kate proves the stereotype correct by forcing the release of information provided to her off the record. While it added an interesting element to the story, I think it was a little bit predictable. Most of the other characters were not very complex, either and cliches are common in this book. Joe is a burgeoning journalist and a millennial who can't stop looking at Facebook on his phone and uses Wikipedia as a primary research tool. The old men are grouchy and the old women are nosy neighbors and they just weren't very complex or authentic. Barton's writing was very easy to read and encouraged me to read on to find out what happened in the story. The authenticity of the relationship between Jude, Emma and Will was shocking but I appreciated the honesty. There was more mystery and more of a background story to this novel than just a mystery about what happened to the baby that was found at the construction site. It is also about family betrayal and what happens when a child is forced to grow up too quickly. I can't say that I was completely shocked by the twists in the story (or the ending) but they were important topics to read about and it was a fascinating story. The first part of the story was a little bit slow but towards the end, I realized why it was necessary to build the suspense so slowly. It was completely worth the wait! I really enjoyed this book and I think that any lover of mystery will, as well, especially if they enjoy mysteries that center around family drama.

Initially, I was super excited to have this book! I never thought I’d win it through First to Read because I barely win anything, so I was shocked to win this, especially since I adored Barton’s The Widow. Unfortunately, this one didn’t exactly live up to my expectations. We follow Kate, the reporter from The Widow, as she investigates the story of a dead baby found near a construction site. Three other women also end up getting involved in this case: Emma, who has experienced a rough childhood, but quickly becomes effected because of the news of the dead baby; Jude, Emma’s mother who has a different side of the story; and Angela, who lost a baby long ago and wonders if she’s finally found her. I loved seeing how all four of these women interconnected with the mystery; it made the book truly interesting. We get to experience all of their POVs, and it always kept me guessing what truly happened. I ended up being proved wrong at one point, which reminds me why I love thrillers so much. I think one of my issues with this book was the pacing. This book was quite slow, and I’d say it’s about the same pace of The Widow. It isn’t a fast-moving thriller at any rate, and I’d probably call it more of a mystery than anything. Though I really enjoyed the pacing in The Widow, the pacing in this book really ruined the experience for me, especially since it took me so damn long to read this one. I started getting bored and just wanting to finish it for the sake of finishing it. I also thought this was more mystery than thriller. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s a sort of contemporary/mystery mix – you know, one of those mysteries that’s not really too dark and tends to be a bit tragic and the mystery isn’t really the main point of the novel? I will say, for those who complained about there not being a plot twist in her previous novel, they’ll probably enjoy this one much more, since there’s a couple, but I didn’t really enjoy them too much. I thought the ending of this one was actually pretty nice. It was quite bittersweet for the tone of the novel, and I thought it tied up everything really nicely in the end, which is always good for a stand-alone. I loved seeing the characters get their own little happy ending, in their own way. Overall, not as good as The Widow, but other people will probably enjoy this one more than I did (and already have!).

This story was intriguing and well written. I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the character development as well as the story arc. I look forward to more books by Fiona Barton. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to read this ARC from Penguin Books and First to Read.

Although this book was a tad slow to get started, I couldn't stop reading once the action picked up. This book will keep you guessing! I loved the array of characters, particularly the portrayal of a variety of strong female characters, each with their own set of weaknesses. I love the way that Barton intertwines a little bit of history, a lot of suspense, awesome characters, and a fabulous setting in her books! I am becoming a huge fan of Fiona Barton, and I can't wait to catch up on other books of hers that I have missed!

I've really enjoyed reading mysteries the past year, not sure if it's due to getting older or that my interests are changing. Maybe a little bit of both. I really enjoyed The Widow, so I looked forward to getting to read this one as well. Overall I think I'd give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It would've gotten the full 5 if I wouldn't have been able to predict the ending so easily. Overall this we a great intriguing read. Fiona Barton is a great author and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future!

This was a good story and I found it to be very readable. I was really drawn into the idea behind the mystery. I wasn't blown away by the story but I did enjoy my time reading this one. I found that the pages of this book went by pretty quickly. I am glad that I decided to pick up this book. This story is told from three main points of view. Kate is a reporter who is intrigued by the discovery of the remains of a newborn baby and decides to try to find out what really happened. Angela is the mother of a newborn baby that was taken from the hospital shortly after her birth. Emma lived in the area that the baby's remains were found when she was growing up and is very troubled by the news of the discovery. I did like the characters in this book. Kate was smart and resourceful. She really did everything in her power to find out what really happened. Angela has been through a nightmare. I could only imagine how difficult the years have been since her baby disappeared. Emma was a bit of a mystery at the beginning of the story. She has had issues in her past and seemed somewhat fragile. There were a lot of other interesting characters that are met in this story and I think each of them were well done. The mystery seemed rather obvious to me pretty early in the book. I kept waiting for something to happen that would make me realize that I was wrong but it never happened. I have had other readers tell me that they didn't figure anything out until the end of the book so maybe I will be in the minority with thinking the solution was too easy to figure out. I really don't like it when I can predict the solution to a mystery long before any of the detectives seem to have even the slightest clue. I think it just takes something away from a mystery when you are able to figure things out too early. I did like the author's writing style. I think that the multiple points of view worked really well in this story since each character had an important piece of the puzzle. Besides the main mystery revolving around the baby's remains there were some other issues that came up in this book and I thought everything worked very well together. I would recommend this one to fans of mystery thrillers. This is the first book by Fiona Barton that I have read and I look forward to reading more very soon. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via First to Read.

Rating: 5/5 stars Where to start with this one? Well, I should mention that I loved Fiona's first book called "The Widow" and this new book is even better. "The Child" is one of those books that switches perspectives with each chapter. I usually don't enjoy books that do that but it worked well with this one. The journalist in this book is Kate Waters. She was also a character in Fiona's first book "The Widow." Kate catches on to a story of a baby's body that was found at a construction site by a worker. As she pieces information together after talking to people who used to live on the street where the construction is taking place, a shocking discovery is made. The end of this book caught me by surprise. I loved it! Fiona wrote this book wonderfully. Highly recommend for a summer read! It releases on June 27, 2017. Preorder here: The Child Thank you to the First to Read website, the publisher, and Fiona herself for the early copy of this book.

The intrigue of finding a baby's skeleton when a building is torn down drew me in. The 4 women involved are drawn together as more facts are revealed. I do have to say, I saw right away where the book was headed. As soon as all the characters were introduced, then I knew what had happened. But, it was still interesting watching the characters come to the same conclusion I did. The 4 POV and the switching back and forth was a little irritating. Being able to get one character set in your memory before switching to the next would have helped the flow of the book. All in all though, an enjoyable read.

I had the best time reading this book. Which is exactly what I love to say when I finish a book. I enjoyed every moment in its pages. I had a lovely time figuring out the mystery and tying up the three threads of the story into one lovely package. And what a fabulous package it all wound up being. I was completely satisfied when I turned that last page. I highly recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a suspenseful thriller, with characters who you care about, and a few you don't, and a twisty turny ride that you are sad to see end. This one was all of that and more and I enjoyed every minute of it.

I haven't read The Widow yet but I immediately got it from the e-library upon finishing this book. Told in 3 alternating POVs, we slowly piece together who the baby found was and what lead to it being there. Huge twist that I didn't see until just a few pages before it happened. And my jaw still dropped. A few other smaller twists as well. It was hard, for me at least, to keep in mind the characters' ages. It wasn't very obvious that so-and-so was 75 and so-and-so was 25, etc. The way to discovery was fast-paced and exciting. Not a dull moment. I enjoyed this book a lot.

I received this book for free as part of Penguin's First to Read giveaway in exchange for my honest review of the book. I admit, the snyopsis of this book grabbed me from the start. I like thriller/crime stuff and as a former crime reporter for a newspaper, this book spoke to me. The story was great, the characters were well developed (and I totally understand that reporter's mindset and what she was going through to get the story), and I wasn't quite expecting the twist at the end. I would definitely recommend this to my friends.

An infant’s skeleton is found buried in a housing development that is being torn down. Who is it? How did it get there? This story is told from various points of view with only one being in the first person. I never figured out why that one storyline was told differently than the others, but combined the stories tell of rape, kidnapping, infidelity, and obsessive love. That is a lot for a book about a little baby but it comes together very well. I really enjoyed Ms. Barton’s character development and how she hides things from the reader in plain sight. I will say that I am not sure how well the timeline and events during the story would hold up to scrutiny, but sometimes you just have to accept that it is fiction.

A short newspaper article describing the discovery of the skeletal remains of an infant draws together four women and this book is written in alternating chapters from their points of view. Most of the women have husbands but they don't really count in this book. Angela's baby Alice was taken from a maternity ward 4 decades ago and she has mourned her loss ever since. Emma is emotionally disturbed and harboring secrets. Jude is Emma's estranged mother. Kate is a newspaper reporter who is intrigued by the initial article and is determined to find the story behind the buried infant. I don't usually like women's fiction but this book didn't bore me, which is a huge accomplishment for this genre. Once a few facts were revealed it was pretty easy to guess where this book was headed. Nonetheless it held my interest and I found the story compelling. An indication of how much I was enjoying this book is the fact that I kept wanting to go back to it in spite of the fact that I was reading it on an app that was, to put it mildly, a giant pain in the ass. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

I really enjoyed this book. The twists and turns in it kept me engaged. It was a pretty quick read.

If you're into thrillers with multiple POVs and some big twists all at the end that you may or may not see coming, this is for you! I enjoyed the short chapters going between the 4 perspectives because it made me feel like I was making progress, haha. But seriously. I liked the format of it being little snippets of info that the reader could use to make inferences about where the story was headed instead of a straightforward storyline from one perspective. It works with the reporter looking for a story aspect of the novel as this is the way stories normally unfold to the public in real life. All in all, I was kept guessing on a few questions til the end and I really enjoyed this book and am glad I chose to get a shot a reading it before it was published.

Brilliant! I read this whole book in a matter of days... completely had me hook, line and sinker. I suppose I could have tried to guess the twist at the end if I had tried, but it definitely surprised me. I loved it, can't wait to read another one of her books!

I loved the twists and turns in this novel about lives affected by tragedy years ago.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The skillful way the 3 main characters were introduced intrigued me. Sad at times but in the end healing. I would give it 4.5 stars out of 5. In fact I liked this book better than her first-The Widow.

I was very excited to have the opportunity to read, The Child by Fiona Barton. I had read Fiona Barton’s debut novel, The Widow and love it! In the beginning of The Child, there is a lot of characters and the narrative switches between them frequently. It took me a little bit to get all the characters straight and feel a connection to them. Three women are the main characters. Katie is a journalist wanting to dig deeper into the story of a infant’s body found at a building site. Emma is an Editor, she has some difficulty/anxiety. She become very interested/obsessed in the infant. Angela and Nick are parents of baby Alice who was abducted from the hospital shortly after birth. The character develop is great. You have a good sense of each character and their inner thoughts while the story switches between past and present. The Child by Fiona Barton starts off slow with giving you a glimpse into each woman’s life and you are also introduced to people in their lives as well. Just as I began to feel like this story wasn’t going anywhere, my interest was peaked. The small connections between the women’s life start to be skillfully revealed. Ok, Ok…Fiona Barton you got me! I am hooked. Each connection brings you closer and closer to understanding the memories that haunt the women, with a few twist to keep you on your toes. The suspense builds and builds. I am reading the last few chapters in the morning before going to work. Ok….I will have a second cup of coffee and read one more chapter. Ok…. I will read one more chapter and work late tonight. Ok…I am sitting on the edge of seat and on a total emotional roller coaster – tears and all! I will finish this book before going to work. Yes, I was late for work, but The Child by Fiona Barton was totally worth it. Fiona Barton sure knows how to build the suspense and deliver a memorable ending!

Thanks to first to read for my copy of "the child". I absolutely loved this book and didn't guess the twist, which is unusual for me! The only thing was, I would have preferred longer chapters.....it was told from all the different characters POV and i couldn't get 'into' anybody before it moved on again.

For me, the book started out slow. I got lost on a few of the terms before realizing the the author is British. (and some words have a different meaning to me, as an American.) The plot was very well written and I absorbed the last chapters quickly. I honestly didn't see the end coming as quickly as others, but when it hit me, it definitely put it all into perspective. Very good book that I would definitely recommend. Thanks First To Read for my copy!

I would like to thank First to Read for my copy to review. The Child was a great title for a good book. Emma, Jude, Angela & Kate all play important roles after the discovery of a child's bones at an excavation site. Angela prays its her baby girl that was taken shortly after birth. Emma believes her secrets been unearthed and her mother Jude has secrets of her own. Kate is the reporter that put some of the pieces together. She got the story in the paper and talked about. Emma seemed slightly off the whole book but while she seemed off she was believable. I couldn't imagine what Angela went through losing a child. Literally. Kate was very enjoyable. She made me laugh and begin to put the pieces together myself. I would love to have Kate as a friend. She doesn't stop. There was a nice twist included. Nothing earth shattering but it was a twist.

I really enjoyed this book. Although I had it figured out long before the end, it still did not take away from it. I would give it 4 stars and definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys mystery novels. Have already recommended to friends and family. I enjoy the author's writing and have another book of her's that I haven't gotten to yet but now will make more of an effort to read!

I started & finished The Child yesterday. 4 stars Highly Recommend. It's a good solid mystery, but personally I wouldn't place this in the psychological suspense genre. Well defined characters, so despite the telling of the story from multiple people's viewpoints it was easy to follow. I figured out the plot twist fairly early on in the story, so I was smugly satisfied with the ending. Thank you Berkeley & First to Read for my advance copy.

This book alternates chapters following the lives of 3 main characters. When we first meet all three of them, they have all just become aware of a small article in Evening Standard about the bones of an infant being found on a building site in Woolwich. Emma sees the article and becomes anxious and distracted, to the point of burning dinner. Kate works for the Daily Post, sees the small article in the Evening Standard, and is intrigued and wants to investigate further. Angela's not having a good day, it's Alice's birthday and her husband Nick doesn't seem to remember and this upsets her even more. She wonders if the small bones found could be Alice. This book took awhile for me to get into. I enjoyed the short chapters, they tempted me to read just one more. It was an easy and quick read, with a bit of a twist. I never really felt connected with the characters so in the end it fell a little flat for me. It's not a bad mystery thriller, it just won't be one of my all time favorite books.

This was a fantastic book

I was excited to read an advance copy of The Child, as I was a huge fan of Barton's previous book, The Widow. I must say, I enjoyed The Child much more. It definitely had an emotional impact, and it kept me thinking the entire time, trying to figure things out. I won't say much because I don't wait to spoil anything. The end wasn't a surprise to me, but it was still quite a twist.

I haven't had the chance to read the Widow by Fiona, but after hearing such great reviews I couldn't wait to get my hands on her newest book "The Child". I was lucky enough to get an advanced readers copy through firsttoread.com and I was blown away. The story is such an emotional roller coaster, especially for anyone that's a mother and has that ultimate fear of their baby being abducted. I loved all the characters and how the author just kept slowly putting the puzzle pieces together for you as you constantly tried to figure out how they were all related. I wouldn't say that I didn't see the ending coming but even though it wasn't a huge surprise I would still say it was a shocking twist. Loved everything about this book and I anticipate it being another huge success for Fiona Barton.

I feel like I've already read 30 variations of this book; there's nothing new here. I guessed the big twist well before it was revealed. It's not a bad book but it's nothing special.

Even though I figured it out before the ending, I liked the journey throughout this book. Unreliable protagonists are all the rage in books these days but does that hold true in this story? That's the guessing game. Can trauma produce inaccurate memories? When the unthinkable happens to both a parent and a child, lives are forever changed and memories are both nurtured and suppressed. This story also covers the question of when is it time to let go and when is it time to tell your story. There are lots of good bits in between these questions.

My Review of “The Child” by Fiona Barton I would like to thank First To Read and Berkley/Penguin Random House for the ARC of “The Child” by Fiona Barton for my honest review. The genre of this novel is Mystery/thriller and Adult Fiction. During a demolition of a building, the bones of a baby are found. The baby is referred to as the “Building Site Baby”. Kate Waters, a journalist becomes increasingly involved in this story. Years before, a baby disappeared from the maternity ward in a major hospital, while the mother was taking a shower. The mother has been tormented with guilt for leaving the baby alone in the hospital.Although this is devastating news, this might mean closure for this couple. Kate starts to interview many of the tenants who resided in the demolished building. The more people that Kate interviews, the more complicated it becomes. Kate is now speaking to the police and a detective involved in this case. Fiona Barton describes her characters as flawed, complex and complicated. Most of them have secrets, that they want to stay buried. Kate starts to find more evidence and clues that seem to be part of this unresolved case. There are twists and turns and unexpected revelations. I was surprised and didn’t expect the ending. When the secrets, turn into the truth, there can be unanticipated, unpredictable consequences. I found this book intriguing and would recommend it!

Spellbinding! I couldn't stop reading this book. I would have to tear myself away from this story. When I wasn't reading it I found myself thinking about it. I couldn't wait to see what happened next. I figured out some answers pretty early on, but it didn't keep me from wanting to know how it all came about. This was a definite page turner. This is a great story. There is a lot going on in this story, but it doesn't take away from the book. This book jumps around between different people and times, but it is still a cohesive story. It all flows. This is a great read. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. It is amazing!

The book starts out slowly, getting used to the different players voices, but picks up speed as the individual connections unfold. A lot of emotional twists which eventually culminate into a revelation in the end. Kate, a journalist doggedly hunts down the clues to solve the discovery of an infants remains at a building site. The tragic circumstances revealed are sad and surprising. A good read.

I really enjoyed the suspense and the characters in the novel. There are two different women that I have lost children and there stories are intertwined when Kate begins her quest to find the truth. Angela and her husband have lived a life of dealing with the grief from the loss of their child. Emma deals with a mother that does not act like a parent. She ends up becoming pregnant through her mother's boyfriend and hides her pregnancy. Kate finds the truth with her connections and is able to unite a family and create a true beginning for Emma. I will definitely be interested in checking out Fiona Barton's first novel after devouring this one.

 


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