Elizabeth's Reviews > Songs for the Missing

Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan
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's review
Nov 21, 2009

it was amazing
Recommended for: Parents

This book puzzled me. Just when I thought I knew where the author was going with it, he didn't, but then he did. Ugh. I don't want to tell too much of the story because I don't want to give it away.

Fran and Ed are happily married with two daughters. This is the story of what happens when one of their daughters disappears. This book kept me up late reading. I took it with me on carpool duty (not to read while driving, but for those 10 minute waits here and there). I read every word and went back to reread parts just to hear the language. What a gifted author and once again, I am struggling with how I let this guy's books slip under my radar.

I was so struck by how the family and all its members handled the situation. Not only did O'Nan provide insight into their thoughts, but he really made me empathize with people who did not react as I would. This story, a mother's worst nightmare, has become so commonplace in our society that we sometimes just briefly pause when we hear it, yet again. This book did more for me than make me pause. It made me think about just what I would do if the same happened to me. As a mother, I've only thought about the initial crumbling that would happen to my soul. The broken, instant, terrifying fear that would begin and never end. I never really thought about all the rest of it.

A must read, for sure.

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