I am a sucker for great characters. This story follows a family whose oldest daughter disappears. It sounds like a thriller.
What it really is, becomes a psychological study of grief and priorities in a working class family that has to slowly, VERY slowly, come to grips with uncertainty. Their bottom line? You don’t accept uncertainty. You break yourself into pieces to end it. And it still might not end.
The writing is tight and an odd juxtaposition of almost newspaper style and lyricism. I found myself pausing at times to enjoy his construction, which is saying something when the characters are so well done. Moments like this not-all-together-flattering opinion of the landscape. The sins of the Midwest: flatness, emptiness, a necessary acceptance of the familiar. Where is the romance in being buried alive? In growing old?
Dad won’t give up; he gets in the police’s way and follows up even the most ridiculous leads – because how do you evaluate ridiculous when you’re desperate?
Mom is coping quietly, at home, and drinking way too much and trying to protect her younger daughter–including protecting the child from her, the mom. She recognizes way too many things and keeps quiet about them as her husband leaves and returns, seeking leads. And as her younger daughter tries so hard to not become the adult in the family. Their relationship is fascinating.
And Lindsay, the 15-year-old accepts that part of her life has disappeared and part of it is on hold and anything she is going to have from here out is going to be a combination of fight and negotiation, with herself as much as with the world around her that really needs her to be the dutiful grieving little sister. Except, not too much grieving, because, hope. Her older sister may yet be found.
It’s a vibrant character study hidden inside a thriller plot. I thoroughly enjoyed Songs for the Missing.
I’m always interested in your book reviews (and enjoy Jack’s thoughts and perusings). This looks to be a great read and I’ve requested it from my library. Keep’em coming.Elaine Fernwood
I’ve been receiving your book reviews (thank you, I enjoy them) and saw you speak once in Charlottesville. I’d like to ask whether you have any interest in doing a local book review of my forthcoming poetry collection and writing a blurb for the back cover. The poems are basically a meditation on the experience of being a child of the Appalachian Migration. I thought of you because of your work and proximity to the Appalachian region. My other reviewers will be an English professor in southeast KY and a member of the Virginia Poetry Society.
I will completely understand if you don’t want to take this on. If you are so inclined, however, I have attached five sample poems for your review and can send the full manuscript and publisher’s contact email if you decide you want to proceed.
Kind Regards, Sharon Ackerman
On Mon, Apr 12, 2021 at 6:23 AM Wendy Welch: Books, Yarn, Cats, Opioids wrote:
> wendywelch posted: ” I am a sucker for great characters. This story > follows a family whose oldest daughter disappears. It sounds like a > thriller. What it really is, becomes a psychological study of grief and > priorities in a working class family that has to slowly, VER” >