The Sarah Puzzle by Annie-Laurie Hunter (Self-Published, 2013, 358pp.)
A young girl is found living in an abandoned building slated for demolition. No one knows how old she is, or what her name is. She’s taken to the pediatric psych ward of a local hospital, where she refuses to speak. Gradually, though, under the staff’s nurturing care, she gives them a name (Sarah), and begins telling her story. The Sarah Puzzle traces her first year spent in therapy. Although it is very informative about what goes on with the therapy process in hospitals, it’s not a casual story for the sensitive or the faint of heart. We learn that Sarah spent her early years under the care of a child sex trafficking ring, and the story
contains graphic descriptions of sexual abuse in children. Although the descriptions run the risk of being a little repetitive at times, it makes them no less shocking. Towards the end, the story gets even more intense as Sarah uncovers her most disturbing memories. A grueling journey for both the story’s characters and the reader that will leave neither unscathed.