I wasn’t joking about getting my fill of child-snatchery.
Ok so Abby is just weeks away from marrying Jake, whom she loves, and whose six-year-old daughter Emma she also loves, and everything is great and Jake goes out of town and Abby takes Emma to the beach for mother-daughtery fun times and looks away for a second and when she looks back, Emma is gone.
And this is not a spoiler because you KNOW Emma goes missing, and she goes missing IMMEDIATELY. And much of the tension of those first few pages stems from the fact that you do know, and that even while Abby lets her run off ahead into the fog while she stops to photograph a baby seal, you are frantic, and in those early moments of casual scanning before she panics YOU are panicking, and despite the fact that you know, and that Emma’s disappearance is the whole point and thrust of the book, you keep hoping she’ll find her.
So Abby phones the cops and then Jake and then for the rest of the novel she searches and Jake searches and they put up posters and Abby is WRACKED with guilt and Jake is WRACKED with that kind of anger where you don’t want to be angry but YOU CAN’T HELP IT SHE LOST YOUR DAUGHTER and a daughter is not, like, a set of car keys.
And the story doubles back on itself, with Abby repeating her thoughts, retracing her steps, repeating her thoughts again. But it isn’t grating, it’s tense and futile and you’re halfway through the book thinking how can this go on but it goes on, and it is perhaps not unlike the experience of looking for a lost child. Which is to say, it is both accurate and horrible. Richmond, you unnerve me.
So. That one’s done. Seven caterpillars. Are there any more child-related books I should read before I HAVE one? One of my old profs was just telling me how she read We Need To Talk About Kevin while PREGNANT WITH HER SON and egglings, no recommendations of that sort, please. That is the kind of book that will force you to KEEP THE BABY IN THE WOMB until it is 19 and you can send it off to college. But any must-reads where children are stolen or keelt, I should probably read now. I have less than three months until this baby can kick me from the outside, I need to get my scare on before then.
RECOMMENDEZ, s’il vous plait.