Title: Still Missing
Author: Beth Gutcheon
Publisher: Persephone Books
Year: 2010 (first published in 1981)
Number of pages: 374
Extra: Persephone publishes forgotten books of unjustly neglected authors.
One day, the worst that can happen to a mother happens. Alex Selky, Susan’s son, disappears when he is on his way to school. Nobody has seen him after he turned around the corner of the block.
How is this possible?
Months of stress and sorrow follow. Where is Alex? And is he still alive?
People start calling Susan to give her their opinion and advice. The media is also interested in the story and wants to pay a lot for a TV-show about the case.
Meanwhile, police and volunteers start looking for the little boy who vanished in the air while walking the two blocks to school.
It’s a great novel of how a mother copes with such a loss and why she never gives up.
First I want to say that it’s rather difficult for me to review this book. I loved it, that’s what I can say for sure, but I don’t know exactly what and why. That’s also the reason why it won’t be a long review.
This was the first Persephone book I have ever read, but I was impressed.
The plot intrigued me and I found it interesting to see how our society has changed in thirty years. Sometimes I thought Take your cell phone and call the police what really stupid was, of course.
It is really difficult to convert feelings into words, but Gutcheon did it and I think this was one of the strongest things in this book.
Although there were some passages that were a little boring, I still enjoyed the major part of the novel. It was more a psychological thriller, so don’t expect special police actions.
The story made me also wonder about friends. In such uncommon situations, you get to know who your real friends are and who aren’t. For example Jocelyn, Susan’s best friend, did like to talk behind Susan’s back, but what do you do about it?
Probably also a big problem when your child disappears is the media. What do you share? Your feelings or what you really want, namely that people start looking for your child? This was an interesting issue and the opinion of the police was different from Susan’s, with whom I totally agreed.
The final scenes were beautiful and I couldn’t imagine an end I would have like more.
Overall, I liked the story and especially the expression of the feelings which you can’t feel if you haven’t lost a child yourself.
Rating: 4/5 (I would certainly recommend it.)
Have you ever read a Persephone Book? If so, which one?