Almost every graduating class had a girl who disappeared. A decades-old crime threatens to tear apart three generations of women in this unputdownable mystery that will keep you gripped until its last heart-wrenching page.
1949 It is the coldest winter Orcades Island has ever known, when a pregnant sixteen-year-old arrives at Fairmile, a home for 'fallen women' run by the Catholic Church. She and her baby will disappear before the snow melts.
2013 Frankie Gray has come to the island for the summer, hoping for one last shot at reconnecting with her teenage daughter, Izzy, before starting a job as a deputy sheriff. They are staying with her mother, Diana, at The Fairmile Inn, soon to be a boutique hotel, but when an elderly nun is found dead in suspicious circumstances, and then a tiny skeleton is discovered in the grounds of the house, Frankie is desperate for answers.
At once an evocative, unsettling tale of past misdeeds and a crime thriller that will have you reading with your heart in your mouth, The Only Child is compulsively addictive storytelling from the international bestselling author of The Silk House.
'A great book entertains with a compelling narrative, one that keeps the reader's attention while weaving in universal truths about the human condition during the best and worst of times. Kayte Nunn's The Only Child will join Marge Piercy's Braided Lives, along with films such as Blossoms in the Dust and Vera Drake, as a reminder of what is at stake when the reproductive rights and choices of girls and women are diminished. It is a well-paced story with finely drawn characters - and it's hard to put down' JACQUELINE WINSPEAR
'A taut, clever whodunit ... Kayte Nunn keeps the stakes high and the characters compelling, making for a fast, fresh, engrossing historical mystery!' KATE QUINN
'A deeply moving look at a past when women's reproductive rights were denied . . . a heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful story that resonates in today's world' SUSAN WIGGS
'Richly drawn characters, masterful storytelling, and a slowly unraveling mystery kept me on the edge of my seat, right up until the satisfying ending' KAREN McQUESTION
Praise for Kayte Nunn:
'All the elements of a classic gothic tale . . . that comes with a thrilling twist in the final pages' Daily Telegraph
'Beautifully written with heart-stopping pacing' The Australian Women's Weekly
'This spellbinding story intertwines three strong, fearless women in the pursuit of fulfilling their dreams' Family Circle
'I found myself racing towards the final pages. Utterly spellbind
Kayte Nunn is a former book and magazine editor, and the author of six previous novels, including the international bestselling The Botanist's Daughter, The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant, The Silk House and The Last Reunion. The Botanist's Daughter was the 2020 winner of the Winston Graham Historical Fiction Prize. Kayte lives in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. You can find Kayte at kaytenunn.com