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The Boy Under the Table

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  2,106 ratings  ·  144 reviews
Tina is a young woman hiding from her grief on the streets of the Cross. On a cold night in the middle of winter she breaks all her own rules when she agrees to go home with a customer.
What she finds in his house will change her life forever.
Across the country Sarah and Doug are trapped in limbo, struggling to accept the loss that now governs their lives.
Pete is the local
Paperback, 280 pages
Published June 1st 2012 by Allen & Unwin Australia (first published May 23rd 2012)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  2,106 ratings  ·  144 reviews

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Tina was fifteen when she arrived on the streets of Kings Cross. Her life at home had become unbearable after her brother Tim died – her life in the Cross would be different to anything she had imagined. But it was when she went to a customer’s home that shattered her fragile belief in life…

The journey to the Sydney Royal Easter Show had been planned for awhile. Farmer Doug and his wife Sarah, along with their young son and daughter (who were very excited!) were making a holiday of it as their h
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

This is a novel that is both utterly shocking and unbearably moving which makes for a compelling tale. Told primarily from the alternating points of view of Tina, Sarah, Doug and Pete, a moment of inattention is the catalyst for tragedy in The Boy Under the Table.
With stark realism, The Boy Under The Table relates a horrific reality for two lost children. Tina ended up on the streets of King Cross at barely fifteen when she left home to escape the religious zealotry of her mother and stepfather
Jo Rushby
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: crime readers
Recommended to Jo by: I have read this author's previous novels
The boy under the table by Nicole trope is a page turner. It is a story about a girl living on the streets and using as much cunning to survive. A boy who goes missing from the Easter Show. This really makes you think what if this happened to my child. It is set in Kings Cross Sydney. I Have enjoyed all Nicole Trope books. She writes on Par with Caroline Overington.
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well there goes my Sunday…….This book was so compelling, I just had to keep going until I was finished, although a couple of times it was hard to keep reading I just wanted to put it down – I couldn’t……The Boy Under the Table is about a family from rural Australia who are dealing with the loss of their son, taken at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. This book is told from a few different perspectives, which keeps the pages turning for sure and you on the edge of your seat. Everything about this book ...more
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I desperately read this as much as I could manage today because I was dying to find out what happened. Tina has had a difficult life, feeling affronted when her little brother dies and her mother manages to move on as though he never meant anything. She has chosen to escape her family, as she feels so much bitterness towards their ability to get on with their lives.

Lockie has been taken in a moment of inattention at the Easter Show. His parents blame themselves for their momentary lapse of judg
Babus Ahmed
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Tina ran away from home and now lives in the Cross, a rundown area rife with runaways and vice. One day she discovers a boy and knows she has to do what she can to save him.

Doug and Sarah took their eyes off their children for sixty seconds, that was all it took for Lockie to wander off. After searching and staying in the city for a month to find him they return heartbroken to their farm. Will they ever see their boy again?

This extremely moving thriller is told from the point of view of Tina, D
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie-author
A page-turner, I could not put this down. Told from different points of view, the lives of these people forever interwoven through one shocking event. It's a story of stark reality, with believable characters: two parents that have never given up seeing their child again, but who are struggling to cope in different ways, a teenage runaway barely surviving life on the streets, a policeman friend who refuses to believe the lost child cannot be found.

It's a story of heart-wrenching pain, courage, c
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-read
Setting: New South Wales, Australia; present day. Tina ran away from home when she was 15 and still dotes on the memory of her younger brother who died of cancer. She survives on the streets of Sydney by providing sexual services to men. When one of these men takes her to his house, she sees a small boy tied by ropes under the kitchen table. The story is told by several different characters: we also meet Doug and Sarah, whose 8 year old son went missing 4 months earlier when the family had trave ...more
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There is a sentence in this book along the lines of, the same terrible things that happen on the streets happen inside houses, they are just packaged up better. The author has not packaged this book up nicely, this book is about a boy under the table. Plain and simple. I read it in one sitting, it's difficult to read in places, the author very cleverly uses just enough words to steer your imagination in the right direction. I read this in under 5 hours but the characters have crept under my skin ...more
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kel-s-5-star
I don't know if I can find the words for this one. It was brilliant. The writing was brilliant. The characters were brilliant. The emotion was palpable, and I literally could not put it down, finishing it in a mere two sittings and reading into the wee hours. I haven't done that in a long while. I loved everything about it. This is the book that inspired me to start writing again. Thank you Nicole for restoring my faith that good writing still exists.
Bree T
Tina is just a girl struggling to survive. She ran away from heartbreak and trauma at fifteen, almost two years ago now, escaping the pain of losing her younger brother to cancer. Her mother’s new boyfriend turned out to be a religious fanatic, converting Tina’s mother and working tirelessly to convert Tina. He peppered every conversation with talk of God and Jesus and forgiveness and faith and prayer. Tina knows there’s not much to have faith in, not since Tim died. One day she got on a train a ...more
Tracy Fenton
Jul 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Read this book in a day. Both disturbing and heart lifting. Not a comfortable read but compelling and gripping.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it liked it
The Boy Under The Table is a disturbing tragedy that is hard to put down. Lochie and Tina are the glue that holds this story together. On the other hand, seeing what Lochie’s parents are going through is every parent’s nightmare. While the story is engrossing there is a lot of unnecessary repetition of facts, specifically about Tina and her brother and also about the Easter Fair. The writing style is spare and sometimes feels a little abrupt. While the ending is somewhat unrealistic, the bond an ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After reading many of the positive reviews by previous readers I must say I agree with all that was said. This was the first book by Nicole Trope that I have read and I enjoyed every page of it. I read it in a day and when I wasn't reading it, the characters were etched in my mind. I certainly recommend it for anyone that enjoys a thriller.
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full Review @

This definitely wasn't what I would call a 'comfortable read' it deals with a myriad of sensitive issues and although it doesn't go into any sort of graphic detail there are enough subtle hints for you to know what's really going on. It was however rather a compelling read, the story itself was well written although to be honest not much goes on, the chapters were split between Tina and family and friends of Lochie (Lochie is the boy under the table,
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down, it was so interesting and scary that this sort of thing can and probably does go on. It had a happy ending in the sense that the little boy did come back to his parents but the poor little fellow would most likely be damaged for life and the girl that saved him learnt a lot in the process about human nature. Would highly recommend this book to anyone.
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a great read. This book could of kept going or should I say I wanted it to keep going. This was so true to word about places in NSW, Australia. I loved reading this book from start to finish. very descriptive but it didn't deter you from the story
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the first time I have read Nicole Trope, as sad as the story was it has a nice fuzzy ending. I enjoyed the book,it was easy to read, flowed well and was not too drawn out. Will absolutely read another of this author.
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Absolutely harrowing book that was hard to get through at times due to its distressing nature. But very easy to read and hard to put down. Very good character development - I really liked the relationship between the young boy and the girl who rescued him.
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was so moving it had me in tears at the end. A customer recommended it to me & I have begun spreading the word myself now about this powerful book. If I could, I'd give it 8 stars! ...more
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful book . Quite disturbing in parts . But also showed kindness come in all forms of life . I give this book 5 stars
Lou Grimm
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: friend-rated_it
The Boy Under the Table is a hard book to describe without giving anything away. Trope uses an unusual style - filled with early backstory, heavy on past tense, and liberal with dispassionate descriptions - that accentuates the horror of what's actually happening.

It's almost as though the relative quiet of her style represents the deception played out by her characters, that in the same way neighbours of a serial killer always speak of what a good quiet person the killer appeared to be, her wor
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a tale of street kids and child molesters. It should be depressing but it’s not, in fact it’s quite optimistic. Plus absolutely riveting.

Kings Cross prostitute Tina is visiting an unsavoury customer when she spies a child tied up under a table. Concerned for her own safety she leaves him there, but she cannot forget the emaciated child who could be her little brother. But should she risk her safety for a stranger? The author takes you right into the life of Tina, her daily scramble for s
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
My respect goes to the author for writing, finishing and publishing this book, but I have to say, I wish she had of used a bunch of beta readers and a really good editor before she published because this should have been polished to a much higher standard given its traditionally published and has a decent price tag. I’m afraid I found the writing style to be extremely repetitious and the majority of the story was filler and unbelievable. This was a telling story not a showing story and I felt no ...more
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
A well-crafted thriller set in Australia, that is page turning , believable and full of suspense. The characters were well drawn and the wisdom and altruism of the main character, flawed as she is, is held lightly within the story. Each character behaves exactly as you would expect, and the boy himself, traumatized by his abduction and ordeal, is sensitively drawn without being mawkish. The weaknesses - the local cop and his wife perhaps fill the 'grandparent' role a little too cosily,but overal ...more
Petra Be
I must say I considered abandoning the book a few times (especially at the beginning). I didn't mind the topic (The abuse was actually only hinted at, nothing graphic at all.) but the writing was so weird and repetitive that I wanted to scream. Also I don't think it was necessary to put so many F words in the story. There were several points of view but the people sounded all the same. Towards the middle the book started to be a bit better and I liked the ending, though in my opinion it wasn't v ...more
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alle, 2017
I love Nicole Trope!
Tina is a teenage runaway working in Kings Cross. When she goes to a man's house to turn a trick she is confronted with a young boy in a terrible state tied up under the table. Tina is in a bad state herself, barely able to take care of herself but realises she just cant walk away and leave him. This is a very moving, somewhat disturbing book and you won't be able to put it down. For lovers of Jodi Piccoult.
Mary Manson
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very Sad Book With a Wonderful Ending

The story was very sad. It grabbed me from the beginning and wouldn't let go until I finished reading it in one sitting. The characters and plot were wonderful. Unfortunately, we live in a world inhabited with sick people like the ones in this book. Fortunately, the book had a happy ending and the missing child did come home.
Barbara J.
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a story.

When I started reading this book, I wasn't sure if I could handle the emotions that it would be sure to evoke, and believe me, it is a very emotional story. I am so glad I didn't give up on it, and you will be, too. The author is a gifted storyteller and beautifully takes the reader on a journey they won't soon forget.
Erin Gray
I never wanted to put this book down. I was invested in the story, the characters, and I wanted to know how it all played out. I experienced many different emotions while reading, and I forgave the few parts that seemed a little unrealistic just because I was so captivated by the story. 4.5/5
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Nicole Trope went to university to study Law but realised the error of her ways when she did very badly on her first law essay because-as her professor pointed out- ‘It’s not meant to be a story.’ She studied teaching instead and used her holidays to work on her writing career and complete a Masters’ degree in Children’s Literature. After the birth of her first child she stayed home full time to w ...more

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40 likes · 16 comments
“Kids didn’t just disappear unless someone made them disappear.‘Relax, mate,’ the head of security said. ‘We’ve never lost one yet.’ Lots of kids wandered off at the Easter Show, he told them. They were always found, usually somewhere near the food.Doug had tried to relax, to stay calm, but he could feel the panic building inside him.The place was too big.There were too many people.Lockie could be anywhere. The police were called. It took hours for everyone to leave the showgrounds because every family was stopped. Every parent was questioned and every child identified. It was way past midnight when everyone had finally gone home, and still they had not found Lockie.The head of security changed his tone. The police held whispered conversations in groups. They began to look at him with sympathy in their eyes.Doug felt his heart slow down. There was a ringing in his ears. He was underwater and he couldn’t swim.Lockie was gone.They had lost one.Sammy had gone from impatience to hunger to exhaustion. She didn’t understand what was happening.Sarah sat next to the pram twisting her hands. She did not cry. She didn’t cry for days, but every time Doug went near her he could hear her muttering the word ‘please’. ‘Please, please, please, please.’ It drove Doug mad and he had to move away because he wanted to hit her, to snap her out of her trance. He had never lifted a hand to his wife or his children, but now he had to close his fist and dig his nails into his palm to keep himself from lashing out
Sarah didn’t believe in hitting children; she believed in time out and consequences. It was different to the way Doug had been raised but he had come around to the idea. The thought of anyone—especially himself—hurting Sarah and the kids was almost too much to bear.Doug sometimes wondered, after, if whoever had taken his son had hit him. When he did think about someone hurting his boy he could feel his hands curl into fists. He would embrace the rush of heat that came with the anger because at least it was a different feeling to the sorrow and despair. Anger felt constructive. He wanted to kill everyone, even himself. But as fast as the anger came it would recede and he would be back at the place he hated to be. Mired in his own helplessness. There was fuck-all he could do.”
“Now she took the pills and, just before she closed her eyes, she summoned Lockie and his smile, and then the dreams would come.In her dream her golden boy tries again and again and again to stand up on the boogie board until he manages to remain upright for at least a minute. In her dream Sarah can feel the tears on her cheeks. Her golden boy was lost and she was too. She tried to dream that they found each other again but she couldn’t control her dreams any more than she could control her nightmares.” 3 likes
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