Where They Found Her: A Novel
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“McCreight creates a world that pulls us in completely and genuinely, with characters that can enrage, amuse, and fill us with empathy. It’s a thrilling novel.”—GILLIAN FLYNN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl
Motherhood hasn’t been easy for Molly Sanderson, and the years since the loss of her second child have been a particular struggle. But six months after moving from New York City to sophisticated Ridgedale, New Jersey, she’s finally enjoying life again, as mother of a five-year-old daughter and fledgling arts reporter for the local paper. But this tenuous stability is threatened when the body of a newborn is found in the woods behind prestigious Ridgedale University and Molly is assigned the story. Over the objections of her increasingly concerned husband, Molly dives into reporting, determined to prove herself by uncovering the truth. What she finds is a decades-old trail of dark secrets that winds through every corner of the town.
Told from the perspectives of Molly; Barbara, wife of Ridgedale’s police chief, whose faltering son is unraveling her picture-perfect life; and a sixteen-year old high school dropout, Sandy, who is dealing with her wayward mother, Where They Found Her reveals that the tragic truth about what happened to the baby lies at the unexpected intersection of these three very different women’s lives. It is a taut and profoundly moving novel about mothers and daughters—the fierce bonds that unite them and the deceit that can drive them apart. But most of all it’s about the heartbreakingly high price of history. The past can be artfully denied, but never truly buried.
warm and wonderful people. To Marly Rusoff, the very best agent and most lovely friend, I am so lucky to be the beneficiary of your wisdom and grace. Thank you, Michael Radulescu, for your foreign rights and associated genius, and Julie Mosow, for always dropping everything to read another draft. Thank you to the fabulous Shari Smiley and the wonderful Lizzy Kremer. Many thanks to the experts who patiently answered my questions, including Dr. Barbara Deli, Dr. Gerald Feigin, Karen Lundegaard,
contemplate trying for another baby. I wasn’t sure I’d ever be ready for that. But I had to be careful. If I seemed like I was slipping under again, Justin wouldn’t let me out of his sight. “Obviously, it would be better if it weren’t a baby,” I said, trying to smile. It didn’t feel convincing. “But I can handle it.” Justin closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He was quiet for a long time, then turned to stare out the window. “Are you sure you should do this story, babe?” He had this
instead of taking her up to bed. Admittedly, I was our weak link in the sleep department. But I couldn’t bring myself to say good night. I’d needed Ella’s warm little body pressed up against me. I thought about picking her up and hustling for the steps to hide the evidence, but before I could move, I got a text from Erik. Any word on that former student in the hospital? Police holding her for questioning, I replied. I’ll need official confirmation before I report. The more I thought about it,
us. In a weird way, the whole terrible thing brought us so much closer. And it’s definitely his turn. I want us to focus on him and what he needs for a while. But it’s so hard to think of leaving. And I know she never even lived in our apartment. But she died here. Inside me. As I slept. As I walked. As I breathed. What will become of her if we leave this place behind? RIDGEDALE READER ONLINE EDITION March 18, 2015, 5:23 p.m. NEWS ALERT Police Schedule Community Meeting BY MOLLY SANDERSON
like “No, I’m serious, I want you to let him do it.” And when I said, “Fuck no,” he said, “How many guys have you banged? What’s one more?” And I thought about saying, One—YOU. You’re the only guy I ever banged. But I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction. Instead, I slapped him. And maybe that was what did it. Because this thing happened to the Captain’s face. Like the lights went out. Like his insides died right in front of me. Then he grabbed me from behind and lifted my dress all the