Synopsis: What happens to the girl left behind?
A masked man with a gun enters a sandwich shop in broad daylight, and Meredith Oliver suddenly finds herself ordered to the filthy floor, where she cowers face to face with her nemesis, Lisa Bellow, the most popular girl in her eighth grade class. The minutes tick inexorably by, and Meredith lurches between comforting the sobbing Lisa and imagining her own impending death. Then the man orders Lisa Bellow to stand and come with him, leaving Meredith the girl left behind.
After Lisa’s abduction, Meredith spends most days in her room. As the community stages vigils and searches, Claire, Meredith’s mother, is torn between relief that her daughter is alive, and helplessness over her inability to protect or even comfort her child. Her daughter is here, but not.
This novel was one I had been highly anticipating since late last year, and unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me. I’ve read a number of character driven novels in the past couple of months and I think I’m just getting a bit sick of them. Because of this, my review is going to be skewed, there’s no way around that, it just wasn’t the kind of novel I was hoping to read at this point in my reading journey.
It was very well put together. The writing was wonderful and the characters were incredibly well developed, but my problem was the plot. As a lot of others have said, this promised suspense and a bit of action, but it was instead a slow moving, poetic family drama.
The characters, I didn’t care enough about to really get invested in their stories. Meredith was fine, and like I previously said, often funny, but I had no empathy for her, so her story meant very little to me. Claire I didn’t like, not even a little bit. I’ve never experienced motherhood, but there was something so immature about her when it came to certain situations with her kids, that I ended up hating her for her behaviour and thoughts.
I hate that I didn’t like this novel, but there we are.
Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.