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Ghost Child cover art

Ghost Child

By: Caroline Overington
Narrated by: Tai Hara,Zindzi Okenyo
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Summary

Caroline Overington's stunning fiction debut is a multi-voiced novel centred around a child's death and its terrible repercussions.

In 1982 Victorian police were called to a home on a housing estate an hour west of Melbourne. There, they found a five-year-old boy lying still and silent on the carpet. There were no obvious signs of trauma, but the child, Jacob, died the next day.

The story made the headlines, and hundreds attended the funeral. Few people were surprised when the boy's mother and her boyfriend went to prison for the crime. Police declared themselves satisfied with the result, saying there was no doubt that justice had been done.

And yet, for years rumours swept the estate and clung like cobwebs to the long-vacant house: there had been a cover-up. The real perpetrator, at least according to local gossip, was the boy's six-year-old sister, Lauren....

Twenty years on, Lauren has created a new life for herself, but details of Jacob's death begin to resurface and the story again makes the newspapers. As Lauren struggles with the ghosts of her childhood, it seems only a matter of time before the past catches up with her.

©2010 Caroline Overington (P)2021 Audible Australia Pty Ltd.

What listeners say about Ghost Child

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fiction in the style of true crime

This is the harrowing story of an Australian family told over twenty years told in first person narrative by those involved including police, social workers, doctors, foster carers and the family themselves. It is written in the style of a true crime investigation which makes the testaments seem all that more real than usual crime fiction and although this would have been even better with a wider pool of narrators (is it done with one female and one male voice actor covering all the parts) this still worked and I found this book gripping and compelling.

12 people found this helpful

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Review

I found this audiobook to be excellent. The story is unusual and perfectly narrated. A must listen to!

8 people found this helpful

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Different and brilliant

Really enjoyed this. I loved the 'real' feel of it. Not often that I wish a book was longer but I wish there'd been more from all the characters at the end.

3 people found this helpful

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Very wordy

I had to skip the last 4 chapters of this because it was too wordy. It went all around houses just to tell a story that could have been told in 2 hours.

2 people found this helpful

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An unusual way of telling the story

This book is written as though it was a real story being told by all the people involved. It is absolutely believable and I found it easy listening I’m very captivating.

1 person found this helpful

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GOOD

It was a great and exciting story, but the authors politics came out in the voice making it a turn off

1 person found this helpful

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Far too longwinded in places.

Good God! The priest’s sections in particular, was all that narrative really necessary to the story? Zzzzz

1 person found this helpful

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A bit of a disappointment

Firstly, may I mention the overuse of “he said”, “I said”, “she said”…..this was so distracting to the point I wanted to stop listening!!

Then the story, the build up to what actually happened took up most of the book but the actual events of that day were a bit of a letdown and not as shocking as I had anticipated. I didn’t mind how the story was told as if the characters were being interviewed and the narrators were ok.

All in all I won’t remember this story in a few weeks and took nothing from it, it will not make me think or ponder, totally forgettable.

1 person found this helpful

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The blurb doesn't do this book justice. I

What a page turner and such an interesting concept.

It kept me gripped to the very end and I loved the different perspectives of all involved.

it's so much more than an who dunnit, it's a deeply moving insight into child abuse and the ripples and repurcushions that follow from everyone involveds perspectives....

Not my usual read, but can't recommend highly enough.

1 person found this helpful

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heartbreaking but a fabulous read

never listened to any Caroline Overington books before. wish I had. so we'll written and loved the narrators. downloaded my 2nd book to start right away.

1 person found this helpful

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  • William Zoller
  • 18-12-21

relìgion

I could not stand all of the preaching and religion so I stopped
reading. would not recommend

54 people found this helpful

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  • Hepcat89
  • 12-12-21

Very Nicely Done

When I started this book I felt deep sorrow.

My sister worked with children like this and it was heartbreaking.

The plot follows a journey of the soul and it was done terrifically.

The characters are believable and seem real.

The narrators were wonderful!

34 people found this helpful

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  • MelissaMae
  • 15-12-21

Could be triggering

This is an excellent book. Well read, well written with so much emotion and just enough detail to bring you in. This could be a book that is triggering to those that have endured any of the abusive behaviors and the resulting behaviors of this abuse.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Barbara W
  • 18-12-21

Not so Stunning Fiction Debut

The story is centered around the death of a five year old boy and what eventually happens to his parents and siblings. There is supposed to be this great mystery surrounding his death with hidden secrets. Let’s just say it’s not that climatic and the ending is a bit rushed to have spent the drudgery of all the “testimonies.”

It is written from a reporting aspect where people involved in the case give their version or testimony. Then the big truth is revealed. The only thing I appreciate with this book is that it was free.

Trigger warning: sexual content and domestic violence.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Jessica Chi Rieper
  • 15-12-21

I COULDN’T STOP UNTIL I FINISHED!!!

At first I didn’t understand the excessive detail about each child within the story. In fact, I thought it went into more detail than needed. As the book went on, I understood why and I simply could not get enough details soaked in. Highly recommended. The narration is perfect, the story is perfect.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Eileen F. Cornacchia
  • 15-12-21

Free?

I would have paid good money for this book. One of the best novels I’ve read in a long time.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Niki Ayres
  • 15-12-21

Good Listen!

Loved the performance. The story was good, but I had a feeling from the start that I already knew the ending.

15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-12-21

Good not great

The chapters are really long and feel like they drone on. There is a lot of detail in the beginning to set up for a big reveal that felt lackluster. Also a good story description if you are interested in hearing the ins and outs of foster care. A good listen for being free but not something I would highly recommend.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • L. Langston
  • 16-12-21

Could easily be non-fiction

Caroline Overington, the author, masterfully weaves together this fictional account of a terrible family tragedy and its long-term impact on the children. A heartbreaking story that brings to light the many flaws in our system of taking care of children who are suddenly flung into foster care.

This is my first experience with this author's work, but it will not be my last. She creates an experience that any avid reader eagerly searches for but rarely finds.

This is a fantastic read for all. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Molly
  • 15-12-21

Heard it

Numerous parts of this story seemed unrelated and disjointed from the original plot. Lauren's affair with the doctor had nothing to do with the death of her brother. Why was it even included? I felt the affair was just filling up pages of words because the author didn't know how to either develop the story or didn't know how to end it. It started off promising and fizzled out flat.



8 people found this helpful