songs-for-missing.jpgAbout the Book:
An enthralling portrait of one family in the aftermath of a daughter’s disappearance

“It was the summer of her Chevette, of J.P. and letting her hair grow.” It was also the summer when, without warning, popular high school student Kim Larsen disappeared from her small Midwestern town. Her loving parents, her introverted sister, her friends and boyfriend, must now do everything they can to find her. As desperate search parties give way to pleading television appearances, and private investigations yield to personal revelations, we see one town’s intimate struggle to maintain hope, and finally, to live with the unknown.

My Review: I’ve read mixed reactions to this book, but personally, I loved it! I got swept up immediately into the story and really felt that I was feeling some of what these characters were feeling as they processed and dealt with the disappearance of their teenage daughter/sister/friend.

There was nothing perfect about their family. In fact, the family seemed ordinary by all accounts and surprisingly uninvolved with each other’s lives, prior to Kim disappearing. Her disappearance came as a shock to them, and they each worked to process it in their own way. We see life through their eyes as they work through the minutiae of everyday life in the aftermath of losing Kim. He masterfully captured those tiny feelings wrong or right that I think someone might deal with in this situation. I feel that O’Nan developed his theme of the unpredictable, uncontrollable, and cruel nature of life well. I even cried a little bit at the end of the book, as I too felt some of the resolution they did.

I loved his prose as well. I found it rich and effortless. The only little minor problem I had was that POV would shift at times within a chapter. That bugs me a little, but it didn’t really distract too much from the story, and once it shifted it usually stayed within the new character. It’s interesting that one of the main criticisms I’ve read is that the characters weren’t developed enough, but I thought the characterization was really rich. I had a hard time getting into another book after finishing this great one!

Unfortunately, Songs for the Missing isn’t due out in stores until November. I received it as part of Barnes and Noble’s First Look book club. So if it interests you, you might want to add it your Amazon wishlist!

Songs for the Missing will be available from the Viking Adult Division of Penguin in November 2008.

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6 Responses to “Songs for the Missing by Stewart O’Nan”

  1. Literate Housewife Says:

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. Your review is really great, too! I agree with you about character development. I believe I knew as much about each of the characters as the character wanted me to know. Does that make sense? If I knew every detail, the narration would have been false because each of them had something that wanted or needed to hide from each other and themselves. Great review!

  2. Tracy Says:

    i keep reading only great reviews. I have it on my tbr pile:)

  3. Erin Says:

    I really wanted to love this book especially after reading such favorable reviews of O’Nan’s other works but it lacked something for me. The POV really began to bug me after a while! A few times I had to go back and reread the first few paragraphs to see who was speaking. I am going to try one of his other books soon.

  4. Lisamm Says:

    Hi, good reveiw! I really liked this book too. I also received it through B & N’s First Look. The only thing that bugged me is that the reader never really learns what the big secret is that the friends are hiding. I did notice a couple POV changes within a chapter, and I was momentarily confused by that! But overall I really liked it.

  5. Cheryl Says:

    I have been on the fence about this book but after reading your review I will have to check it out

  6. Review: Songs for the Missing « Book Addiction Says:

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