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Wild by Kristin Hannah

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

As reviewed on The Cafe, TV3!

Kristin Hannah is one of my favourite American writers. She’s a New York Times bestselling author, and she has written numerous novels including The Great Alone and The Nightingale.

Her latest novel, Wild, opens with child psychiatrist Dr Julia Cates appearing in court after one of her clients unexpectedly shot and killed some other children. The case against Julia is thrown out, but her career is in ruins so when her police officer sister Ellie asks for her help on another case, Julia returns to her hometown, a small place nestled near the beautiful but expansive Olympic National Forest.

A mystery wild child has been found in the town. They think she is about six-years-old, and she has horrific injuries on her body, and she howls and screeches if anyone tries to get close to her. She appears not be able to speak, and there is no clue to her identify or what has happened to her. So Julia begins working with her, using all of her professional skills, determined to help this little girl whom she names Alice.

Slowly Julia forges a close bond with Alice, while Ellie desperately searches for the girl’s family. The town has national media descend on them, bringing Julia’s recent disgrace front and centre again. There are further complications for Julia with Max, the handsome but aloof medical doctor, who is nursing his own hurts. And just when Julia seems to be making extraordinary strides with Alice – who begins to trust and love and talk – the unthinkable happens.

Wild is an amazing book! I was hooked from the opening page and couldn’t put it down until the astonishing ending. There is the mystery of Alice, of course, but you end up caring so much for Julia and her sister Ellie, and Max the doctor, and also a host of other characters. At this stage it's my favourite book of the year!

Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Published by Macmillan Publishers