Noel's Reviews > The Year of Fog

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond
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's review
Dec 05, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: lit-and-fiction
Read in March, 2009

The plot: Fiancee Abby is talking little 6 year old Emma on a walk on the beach. While Abby stops for a second to take a photograph of a dead seal, Abby walks on and within seconds, disappears. Emma's father, Jake is heartbroken, Abby is thrown into the worst year of her life, the year of fog. She lost the child, she second guesses herself, plays the what-if game and searches incessantly through her memory and walking the streets of San Francisco, in a way that fills her life - it gives meaning to her next hours, her next days. As long as she is looking for Emma, there is still hope. However, the more she looks the more strained is her relationship with Jake. How can a father forgive his girlfriend for losing his child?

Abby would not take no for an answer, with dogged determinedness, was willing to try anything, even hypnosis, to jog her memory. On the other hand, Jake put up posters, checked with the police and grew a bit more morose with every passing day. While doing this, he failed miserably at checking out the one person who should have caught his attention.
It becomes hard to give a true review of this particular book without giving away part of the plot. But - as I was reading it, I became frustrated with the characters, not so much the main character, Abby - but with Jake - who comes across as cold hearted, wimpy, self-centered and weak. By the last chapter, I wanted to slap some sense and feeling into him. Some of the characters were way too underdeveloped, we just don't know enough about the background of some of the surrounding characters to figure out how they fit in. And then there's the editing... the middle of the book sags terribly with constant repetitive descriptions of getting up, walking along a beach or Fisherman's Wharf or somewhere else in San Francisco and coming up empty. Parts of the descriptions were skimmable. However, Abby's anguish and her deep love for Emma kept me reading. I did want to know what happened to this little girl - although the book cover pretty much gave it away, I wanted to read through the process. Yes the book had some wonderful descriptions of San Francisco, of photography and memory, but somehow, within the suspense, I just wanted her to get on with the story.


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