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.
[Hausmann's] narrative is entirely fresh and original ... The novel’s strength is the author’s careful and thoughtful depiction of children as unwitting victims, both of their captivity and the world beyond the perimeter of the only place they’ve known: a house in the woods. Their muted, confused pain is palpable. And indeed, this finely wrought novel actually becomes difficult to read because the author has so expertly rendered the suffering of all its characters ... it is the suffering children in Dear Child who propel this captivating novel to its heartbreaking higher ground.
... this is a fun story, despite underlying themes of misery and torture ... You may stumble on awkward language; the book is translated by Jamie Bullock from German and includes a few words — like 'twigged' — that don’t quite fit ... But 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.