Deep in the Pacific Northwest lies the Olympic National Forest– nearly one million acres of impenetrable darkness and impossible beauty. Even in this modern age, much of it remains undiscovered and uncharted. From the heart of this old forest, a six-year-old girl appears. Speechless and alone, she can give no clue as to her identity, no hint of her past. . . .
Until recently, Dr. Julia Cates was one of the preeminent child psychiatrists in the country, but a scandal shattered her confidence, ruined her career, and made her a media target. When she gets a desperate call from her estranged sister, Ellie, a police chief in their small western Washington hometown, she jumps at the chance to escape.
In Rain Valley, nothing much ever happens–until a girl emerges from the deep woods and walks into town. She is a victim unlike any Julia has ever seen: a child locked in a world of unimaginable fear and isolation.
When word spreads of the “wild child” and the infamous doctor who is treating her, the media descend on Julia and once again her competence is challenged. State and federal authorities want to lock the girl away in an institution until an identification can be made.
But to Julia, who has come to doubt her own ability, nothing is more important than saving the girl she now calls Alice. To heal this child, Julia will have to understand that she cannot work alone and must look to others–the people in the town she left long ago, the sister she barely knows, and Dr. Max Cerrasin, a handsome, private man with secrets of his own.
Then a shocking revelation forces Julia to risk everything to discover the truth about Alice. The ordeal that follows will test the limits of Julia’s faith, forgiveness, and love, as she struggles to ascertain where Alice ultimately belongs.
REVIEW: This is one of those books that from the very beginning just reaches out and grabs you. From the first page till the last it keeps you engaged and wanting to keep reading. I think that I read this book in about 31/2 hours. I just couldn’t put it down.
I loved how the relationships between all the characters had it’s highs and lows, but most important that they were all on the same page, finding out who the little girl was, where she belonged, what had happened to her, and how they could best help her.
Ms. Hannah did an excellent job of researching “wild children”. As she introduces us to Alice, and we see the evidence of what extreme neglect can do to a child, we see also the absolute tenacity of those that refuse to give up on her, despite what the experts saw needs to happen.
This is a book that I think everyone needs to read. It will effect you in ways that you can’t even imagine. As a parent I was incensed about what had happened to her. As an adoptive parent of a child that was exposed to that kind of damage as an infant before the authorities stepped in, I can attest to the fact that love, understanding and determination can and does make a difference in their lives.
When I was done reading this book I had to gather my kids onto the couch with me just to assure myself that they were okay.
I give this book a 5 out 5.