15 September 2023

Review: The Boy Under the Table by Nicole Trope

The Boy Under the Table by Nicole Trope book cover

The Boy Under the Table
by Australian author Nicole Trope is about Tina, a homeless young girl living on the streets of Sydney's red light district, King's Cross. Tina's struggle to survive the Cross is contrasted with the grief and worry in outback New South Wales, as farmers Doug and Sarah desperately seek the return of their young son Lachlan, who disappeared at Sydney's Royal Easter Show.

Tina's day-to-day life on the streets as a sex worker and living a sober yet meagre existence in a squat were shocking and compelling, thankfully with a ray of hope Tina will work through her grief and reclaim her life.

There were countless times the author could have taken a misstep in this narrative, resulting in some serious eye-rolling from this reader, but she didn't! In fact, I was actually waiting for a disappointing turn in the narrative, fully expecting Tina to do something unbelievable or for Lachlan to act contrary to his age or character, but again, it never happened.

Instead, I found myself worrying about the two characters during the day, and wondering what their futures held in the remaining pages. We're given multiple character perspectives, and the plot kept me engaged the entire time. I was relieved to find a satisfying ending filled with hope without once glossing over any of the trauma that had passed beforehand and the healing still ahead.

Ultimately The Boy Under the Table by Nicole Trope is a story of hope and courage and I couldn't help but be moved by it. Highly recommended for fans of Australian crime writing, or those seeking a refreshing take on the missing/kidnapped child trope in fiction.

For more, check out my review of Forgotten by Nicole Trope, a domestic thriller about a sleeping baby kidnapped from his car seat when his mother ducked into a shop to buy milk.

My Rating:

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