Review – Dear Child by Romy Hausmann




Dear Child

by Romy Hausmann

Publish Date October 6, 2020

by Flatiron Books



About the book

From #1 international bestseller Romy Hausmann comes DEAR CHILD (Flatiron Books; on-sale 10/6/20), a page-turning new thriller that begins where others end when a young woman flees the shack in the woods where she’s been held captive…only to emerge into a new kind of nightmare.

In the windowless shack, Lena and her two children live isolated and circumscribed lives, forever at the mercy of their captor, “Papa,” who tells them when they can eat, sleep, and relieve themselves. When a rare opportunity arises, Lena escapes with her small but preternaturally perceptive daughter, Hannah, and together they bolt through the woods toward freedom and an uncertain future.

Matthias has been searching for his daughter since her disappearance more than 13 years ago. Lena has been missing for 4,825 days when he receives a call saying she’s finally been found, and it feels like nothing short of a miracle. But at the hospital, Matthias is shocked by what he finds and can’t reconcile the woman in front of him with the daughter he lost so many years ago. Have time and trauma altered Lena beyond recognition? Or is something much darker at play?

As Matthias grows increasingly paranoid and unhinged, Lena is tormented by nightmares of the shack and wonders if she can ever truly be free. And Hannah, for her part, seems to know more than she is letting on.

Dark, twisty, and brilliantly plotted, DEAR CHILD is a psychological puzzle-box of a thriller that will keep readers riveted—and desperately trying to put the pieces together—until the very last page.






“Equal parts mystery, thriller and family story…[A] tantalizingly disturbing debut…the overall experience is as enthralling as it is thought-provoking. Hausmann creates a dark solar system studded with twinkling stars… At the core of Dear Child is the constant hope that characters will be drawn back to people who mean the most to them, no matter how far apart they’ve been pulled. That glint of optimism is the light guiding readers as they fly through this book.” ―New York Times


“A nightmarish and high-tension Gone-Girl-meets-Room thriller.” ―Parade


“Perfect for fans of Room and The Water Cure.”
Bustle, Best Books of Fall 2020


“This chilling, clever mystery begins where most suspense stories end: with the escape…Deliciously creepy…deftly crafted and keeps you guessing until the very last page.” ―Real Simple


“Dear Child is a chilling, original and mesmerizing work. Hausmann is a force to be reckoned with. You can’t stop reading.”  ―David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Memory Man


“If you only read one thriller this year, choose this one. Room meets Gone Girl in this gripping novel, which will haunt you long after the last page. Deliciously dark, original, and beautifully written, I loved this book.” ―Alice Feeney, New York Times bestselling author of Sometimes I Lie


“There are so many twists – all of them shocking…As unsettling as they come, this outstanding debut…is recommended not only to [Room] fans, but also to those who enjoy true crime, as the verisimilitude here is second to none. The movie can’t be far behind.” Booklist, starred review


“Outstanding debut…The multiple points of view and numerous plot twists sustain the breakneck pacing, but the books’ real power lies in the author’s insightful and sensitive portrayal of the characters involved in the tragedy. This darkly disturbing thriller definitely marks Hausmann as a writer to watch.” Publishers Weekly, starred review


“I didn’t even try to figure out whodunit. I just kept turning pages, wondering what the hell was going to happen until I had finished the book in one sitting, in the small-numbered hours of the late night.” BookPage, starred review







My thoughts

This was another one of my most anticipated reads for this fall and I was so grateful when CM from @flatiron_books responded to my begging request back in May to an advanced copy. Let me tell you right now, it did NOT disappoint.

Held captive in a cabin by a controlling man, Lena finally gets a chance to escape and flee with her daughter Hannah. When found and taken to the hospital, Lena’s father Matthias who has been holding on to the hope of finding her for years, cannot accept that this woman could be his daughter. As Lena continues to be haunted by the past and Matthias becomes unhinged about finding the truth, we question: is Lena really who she says she is? And how much does the small Hannah know, and why does she continues to be elusive?

Dear Child starts off immediately as a page turner. {I have to laugh because for me it was more like a ‘screen tapper’ since I was reading digital, and hopefully enough people will read this review and we can coin the phrase ‘screen tapper’ for future use in reviews. (I call dibs)}. But seriously, this book is so captivating from the start, your entire day is going to be consumed with the race to the ending. The amount of twists and turns in this story puts all other thrillers to shame, and just when you think there can’t possibly be anything else Romy Hausmann can throw at you…duck, because here comes the kitchen sink. This is probably one of the most unpredictable and ingenious books I have ever read, and as Hausmann’s debut, she has broken into the psychological thriller genre in an explosive way and has set the bar at a phenomenal level. All other authors beware.

This is hands down a 5 star read for me and I highly recommend it to all my thriller lovers, AND to everyone else out there –  even if you aren’t much of a reader…..this one will convert you. Brilliantly done. Put this on your list and/or preorder it now. Publishes October 6, 2020.

I just would like to thank author Romy Hausmann, Flatiron Books, Netgalley and CM at Flatiron Books for the gifted copy of this book for my unbiased and honest opinion for review.


P.S.  With a little research, you will find that Romy’s second book was published in Germany in April.  Its title in German “Marta schläft” is “Marta is Sleeping” in English.  Hopefully Flatiron will pick it up here in the USA and we will see it soon. Crossing my fingers.




Buy the Book

click site to immediately go to book link


Barnes & Noble







About the Author

Romy Hausmann was born in the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and lives with her family in a remote house in the woods near Stuttgart. Dear Child is her thriller debut and her first novel translated into English.





Author Contact/Social Media

Facebook     Instagram   






Happy Reading & Be Nice!


~ Readinggirlreviews







Published by ReadingGirlReviews

Serious book loving critical care RN dealing with RA, being married to a surgeon, my 2 crazy dogs, an obsession with crafting, and a mad desire to swing golf clubs (although quite poorly).

4 thoughts on “Review – Dear Child by Romy Hausmann

      1. Yeah I use them for all my catalog searches, everything is all in one place. But you can find them on all the pubs webpages too. ♥️


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: