The Stolen Child

A Novel

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Pub Date May 07 2024 | Archive Date Apr 30 2024

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Description

An unlikely duo ventures through France and Italy to solve the mystery of a child’s fate in this moving, page-turning novel from “a gifted storyteller” (People).

For decades, Nick Burns has been haunted by a decision he made as a young soldier in World War I, when a French artist he’d befriended thrust both her paintings and her baby into his hands—and disappeared. In 1974, with only months left to live, Nick enlists Jenny, a college dropout desperate for adventure, to help him unravel the mystery. The journey leads them from Paris galleries and provincial towns to a surprising place: the Museum of Tears, the life’s work of a lonely Italian craftsman. Determined to find the baby and the artist, hopeless romantic Jenny and curmudgeonly Nick must reckon with regret, betrayal, and the lives they’ve left behind.

With characteristic warmth and verve, Ann Hood captures a world of possibility and romance through the eyes of a young woman learning to claim her place in it. The Stolen Child is an engaging, timeless novel of secrets, love lost and found, and the nature of forgiveness.

About the Author: Ann Hood is the author of a dozen books of memoir and fiction, including the best-selling novels The Book That Matters Most, The Red Thread, and The Knitting Circle

An unlikely duo ventures through France and Italy to solve the mystery of a child’s fate in this moving, page-turning novel from “a gifted storyteller” (People).

For decades, Nick Burns has been...


A Note From the Publisher

LibraryReads votes due by 4/1/24.

LibraryReads votes due by 4/1/24.


Advance Praise

"This is a lovely story about two artists meeting in the midst of WWI, a missing baby, and an intelligent, lost young woman helping an old man fix the mistakes of his past. I loved Nick and Jenny from the moment I met them, and had all my fingers crossed that they would find not only what they were looking for, but themselves." - Ann Napolitano, author of Hello Beautiful

"Vividly peopled, intricately plotted, and gorgeously written, The Stolen Child is one of those all-consuming and big-hearted novels that explores what it means to be human – how to love, accept loss, transcend failures, and become the person you are meant to be. Reading Ann Hood is like setting out on an adventure with a wise and trusted friend … you never want it to end" - Adrienne Brodeur, author of Little Monsters and Wild Game

"This is a lovely story about two artists meeting in the midst of WWI, a missing baby, and an intelligent, lost young woman helping an old man fix the mistakes of his past. I loved Nick and Jenny...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9780393609806
PRICE $27.99 (USD)
PAGES 304

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Average rating from 15 members


Featured Reviews

I found this to be a compelling story, especially after Jenny and Nick meet. I typically love dual timeline historical fiction, and this book varies that formula, with multiple characters whose lives overlap in various ways, although not all of them actually meet. Their stories focus on decisions—both made and regretted—love, longing, and chance. For me it was a quick read, as once I started I wanted to know what happened to the “stolen child” and that kept me going. Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Ann Hood's 'The Stolen Child' is truly something special, drawing you in with its deeply crafted characters and compelling plot. Nick Burns' journey, haunted by decisions made in the trenches of WWI, is both gripping and poignant. Teaming up with Jenny, a 20-something who works double shifts at the IHOP, they embark on a quest spanning France and Italy, unraveling mysteries of the past.

Hood's storytelling is rich and evocative, seamlessly weaving together historical detail and heartfelt emotion. The characters she creates are flawed yet utterly captivating, leaving a lasting impression. It was also fun and something a little different to read a book mostly set in the 1970s. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!

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The Stolen Child weaves together a story of the WWI trenches in rural France, a soldier's friendship with a woman artist and her baby. She hands the baby and her paintings to the soldier and asks him to save them as she runs away from the invading German army. A lifetime later, that soldier, Nick, who has been haunted by his actions, hires an assistant, Jenny, who has her own secrets and wish to start over in life and they go to France and Italy in search of the woman artist and the baby boy left behind. The novel is compelling and Ann Hood has written rich and flawed characters that will stay with you. I read it in a day.

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To many regrets for a dying man. O human child, to the waters and the wild something, something. For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

For sixty years Nick had wondered about a fork on the road that took place in World War I. In the trenches, Nick to keep his mind sane, drew pictures on the walls of the trenches. It is this act that compelled a young woman to give him her baby. She also was an upcoming artist herself. Maybe that is why she was drawn to him and asked him to take her baby to safety. However, what he did was take the baby and leave it at a village well. Nick was haunted by this decision. It affected his marriage after the war and left him with many regrets. He knows his life his short so he hires a young woman Jenny to go with him to Europe to find out what happened to the mother and the baby.

One of my favorites in a read is the ironies. This is a compelling story of regret, redemption, and renewal. The ironies bring the plot and the characters together. It is not neatly tied in a bow which makes it unforgettable. I finished it last week and I am still thinking about it. Bravo bravo.
Nicely done.

A special thank you to WW Norton and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Hood's book has history, beautiful landscapes, and well-developed characters. The story is complex but reads easily and smooth. I rarely love historical fiction, but this worked for me. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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