Thursday, April 9, 2009

Songs for the Missing

My stack, or stacks, of library books is truly overwhelming me. I finally got around to reading a book I have had checked out for way too long. Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan is a new book that I pulled off the shelves with some interest, but not a burning desire to read. So other things I have checked out later have moved ahead of it on my pile. I didn't want to take it back to the library but I also was not just dying to read it, either.
Songs for the Missing tells the story of a family whose daughter, Kim, goes missing during the summer between her senior year of highschool and freshman year of college. While this could have been an overwhelmingly sad book, O'Nan writes the story in a more matter of fact way that doesn't create that type of emotion. Kim is an apparently normal eighteen year old girl: working a job to save money for college, hanging out with her friends and boyfriend. All the police and detectives find out about her is that she had tried pot and was sleeping with her boyfriend. Her disappearance takes place fairly early in the book so that we are left to wonder with her parents, sister, and friends what has happened to Kim. Months pass and eventually years as they all must go on with their lives.
While I won't say this is the best book I have read, I will say I was pleasantly surprised to have enjoyed it as much as I did. O'Nan managed to create characters so real that readers will wonder from time to time how Kim's family is doing years after she is gone and her story has ended.

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