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Now You See Her by Joy Fielding
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Jan 29, 12

bookshelves: 2012

Sometimes people are out to get you. When you blend a little bit of familial mental illness, the grief of losing a child, and the stress/depression of a divorce; let it bake in a foreign country, you end up with a potent mix of paranoia and self doubt. Fielding adds these ingredients a little at a time and gradually ratchets up the tension in her heroine Marcy Taggert, to where something has got to give.
If you have a child disappear you would never be able to let go of the suspicion they are still out there waiting to be found. Much like real life cases of kidnapping (Smart, Dugard) you would always feel like a failure as a parent if you gave up too soon. To just accept they are gone would mark you as a failure in your heart, regardless what the world tells you. An impossible position to be in.

Marcy Taggert is taking her second honeymoon sans spouse, as he has left her for the younger golf instructor, and is touring Ireland. Then just sitting at a bar enjoying a pint she sees through the window, into the crowd, her missing daughter of three years walk by. After recovering from the shock she gives chase only to lose her.

What would you do? Much like Marcy you would probably drop everything to find her again, to confirm she is still alive. But it isn't the first time she has "seen" her, plus her ex-husband tells her she is crazy and needs to move on, her sister agrees, and so do the local police. Plus mental illness does run in her family; maybe she is crazy and only having wishful sightings.
Fielding expertly blends all these elements to give us a portrayal of a mentally exhausted mother desperate to hang onto her sanity. Underlying the story is a plea to her readers, grab hold of those you love and let them know now. It can always be too late before you are ready. Good advice to us all.
3 1/2 stars
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