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Missing: A Memoir

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  258 ratings  ·  39 reviews
A twenty-five-year-old recent graduate of Columbia University’s MFA program, Lindsay Harrison began writing Missing as a way to cope with a terrible loss. During her sophomore year at Brown University, Lindsay received a phone call from her brother that her mother was missing. Forty days later they discover the unthinkable: Their mother’s body had been found in the ocean. ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Scribner
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Average rating 3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  258 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Sep 27, 2011 rated it liked it
A sad story telling the tale of a troubled mother and the consequences of her actions on her children, most especially her daughter. Michelle Harrison is the type of mom who is overly involved in her children's lives, calling them at least twice a day and expecting them to be there with and for her every chance they get. When Lindsay and her mom have a huge argument over one act of typical adolescent rebellion, she assumes that it will all blow over. Her mother's mercurial moods have always been ...more
Jan 18, 2012 rated it liked it
The writing itself was fair, the story tragic, the sadness between a mother and daughter tangible. But a strange thing happened to me while reading this book that I find a bit fascinating. Without giving away the events, as I was reading this story the day after I returned home from a trip to New England, it was apparent I had stood on the very earth where the tragedy unfolded. The very same spot in New England. The same small town, the same street, the same pier, looking out into the same cold ...more
Jul 31, 2011 rated it liked it

Grief is such a powerful and personal emotion. Lindsay Harrison shares her grief with us in a gripping and emotional memoir. I enjoyed it as much as a person can given the circumstances. And I hope that writing this book helped Linds move one step closer to peace
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, 2014
Since this is a memoir, I will try to be honest in my judgments, yet spare the snark for the most part. After all, it's about a real-life family living through a real-life drama; one to which thankfully I can't relate.

Missing is one young woman's story about the 40 days her mom was missing, and the aftermath of finding her body. But it is more than that. It's the story of one dysfunctional family, a messed-up mother / daughter relationship, and of growing up and recovering from an unspeakable tr
McGuffy Morris
Sep 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was immediately drawn into this memoir, and haunted by it after I was through reading it. It is an unforgettable story.

Lindsay's mother suddenly goes missing. As Lindsay and her family track her actions, searching for her, other things are revealed as well.

The tragic events that Lindsay shares with us are intimate and difficult, yet she shares these with sensitivity and honesty.

Lindsay learns things not only about her mother, but also about herself. She begins to understand her family and the
I liked this book, but didn't love it. It's a true story of a missing person told from the daughter's perspective. When Lindsay had a fight with her mother on New Year's Day she assumed that it would quickly blow over in a few days, but then it didn't and a few months later her mother goes missing. The book covers Lindsay and her brothers frantic search for their mother and later how their family deals with the grief when their mother's body is found. You definitely feel Lindsay's guilt and pain ...more
Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I felt Lindsay wrote an honest book about her own downfalls after learning that her mother was missing. Yes, at times she seemed immature but she was so young and trying to get through college when this happened. It is not a very flattering portrayal of herself but she knows that and has gotten herself (with help) beyond her grief and on to her long life ahead. She even gives credit to those whom she felt handled the situation in more positive ways, like her two brothers and father.

I have to adm
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Still not sure how about the book. It was a sad book. The author took pains to tell us how she thought, what she did, and how she felt about her Mother's disappearance and the subsequent experiences. After finishing it, I couldn't help wonder if this was some type of catharsis for her, and some closure. When I thought of it that way, I thought it should have maybe meant to be a diary or journal for her alone. Maybe others in the same circumstances might feel differently, and be able to identify ...more
Sep 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
ugh, library staff pick, you led me astray. sad story, terrible writing.
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a memoir of a girl trying to come to grips when her mother goes missing. It is an honest and open story about the many feelings we go through when tragedy hits.
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
Sad, not well written.
Jan 14, 2020 added it
I felt sorry for the children left behind. Suicide is so hard to understand!
marianne gaffey
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
comments re Missing: Memoir

the book portrayed real emotions realistically enough that the reader could experience them as well. the narrativemoved quickly and seamlessly
Paul Pessolano
Aug 05, 2011 rated it liked it
“Missing” by Lindsay Harrison, published by Scribner.

Category – Autobiography/Memoir

It is New Years Eve and Lindsay has just had a fight with her mother. Lindsay’s mother and father have been divorced for many years and her mother has brought Lindsay up and her two brothers. This has not been their first fight and they have been able to work through their problems, however tonight is different. Lindsay is told to pack her clothes and she is driven to her father’s house and told to live with him.
May 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I didn't realize until after I started reading this memoir that Harrison was at Brown when the story took place and grew up in Boston's north shore. Funny since I just finished The Marriage Plot, which was also set at Brown and took place partly in Cape Cod. Okay, maybe it's not that funny, but I'm a Rhode Islander living in California so I get excited about glimpses of home like this. Sue me.

Throughout the first half of the book I wanted to reach in and shake 20-year-old Lindsay even while I f
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
My heart really went out to the author Lindsay, whose mother committed suicide while she was in college. They had a very enmeshed relationship, lots of guilt trips, and Lindsay's last interaction with her mother was a fight over Lindsay not wanting (at age 20!) to sit on the couch with her mother on New Years Eve and blow horns. Her mother's response to this normal developmental milestone was to pack Lindsay's belongings in trash bags and kick her out of the house. Lindsay's brothers seemed to h ...more
Jennifer Margulis
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Before her body is discovered, Lindsay Harrison's mother is missing for 40 days. Lindsay Harrison is a student at Brown University; she has two older brothers and an estranged but loving father who has remarried a younger woman and had another child, Lindsay's half sister. Lindsay and her mother had a bad fight on her birthday, which was also New Year's Eve, and Lindsay has been having dizzy spells ever since. Then her mother, a reliable, punctual, organized person who always sticks to her routi ...more
Sep 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: friday-reads
A few years ago I was at an alumni event at Brown University when I heard Lindsay Harrison read from her powerful, tragic memoir, Missing. I was amazed at how she’d managed to cope with the disappearance and death of her mother. Finding the book on Scribd inspired me to go back and read the entire story.

Missing opens with Harrison frantically traversing New England in search of her mother. But unlike a mystery novel, there are no subtle clues to follow, and no clear solutions. Instead, we have a
An emotional page-turner, , Missing is a stunning memoir by any standard, and particularly so for a twenty-five-year-old writer (I went to school with this writer, but don't know her personally). It is incredibly rare for a memoir about grief by a young author to be this tightly controlled, particularly since relatively little time has elapsed between the tragedy itself and the publication of the book. Harrison's prose is economical and her organization is spot-on. I highly recommend this to an ...more
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Missing is a very sad story written about the discovery of a mother's suicide. The memoir is told by her daughter. The psychologically troubled daughter is open about her own drug use, drinking and personal issues. I have deep compassion for this young woman. Having said that, I found this book to be poorly written and juvenile in its approach. I simply could not connect with this family and it's tragedy. Written in better form, it could have been a gripping tale of a family ripped apart by trau ...more
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good memoir written by a daughter whose mom goes missing. Sadly, they weren't really speaking at the time which only adds to the guilt this young lady is feeling. The book takes you through the missing period, the tragic finding of mom and all the intense feelings, emotions and experiences of this girl and her brothers and dad (mom's ex-husband). Well written, very quick read. She told her story well. ...more
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It is well written and extremely honest. The author has been able to capture the experience of grief. The profound sorrow of losing one's mother and the shock of realizing that your mother was all too human. It reminds us all that only the passage of time will allow to live more easily with our loss. ...more
Amaya Swanson
Nov 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Lindsay Harrison's story of her mother's disappearance is touching, haunting, and beautifully written. You feel as though you're on the journey with her -- the 40 day search for her mom -- and the guilt, anxiety, fear, and ultimate dread of what is to come. It's a great balance of scenes as well as narrative, and an easy read for such a tragic story. Highly recommended. ...more
Linda Nichols
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"Missing" is the story of a mother's disappearance, her family's search for her, finding her, and dealing with the aftermath. It is a story of grieving, bereavement, and healing, told by the woman's daughter. Lindsay has to deal with her own demons while trying to climb out of the crater left by her mother's apparent suicide. Definitely worth reading. ...more
Nov 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: scribd
To tell the truth I skimmed through the last half of the book. it's a very sad story.

This book is from Scribd- For a free 60 day free trial use the following referral link-
Mar 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Odd that I should find myself reading two NF books taking place in the same area (Newburyport); I like visualizing the locale as I read ... this one included yet another familiar place (Beverly Farms). In the process of looking for the "why", the author was able to grieve and heal her loss. ...more
Jan 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Great writing, horrible story. Your catharsis is my anxiety. I'd rather read something that makes me dream. Sorry for the one. I'd give a 5 for the amazing writing ability but a book is not just technique. My opinion is totally subjective. ...more
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: family-secret, memoir
A good read about the disappearance of the author's mother, and what happened after they found her. The anxiety, and the need to know, carry you along so you can hardly put it down. At the end the author appears to have learned very little about herself, unfortunately. ...more
Holly McIntyre
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Simply excellent. A true account of the loss of the author's mother written with the compelling intimacy and crafted plot of a good novel. ...more
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