- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Viking (Oct. 30 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 067002032X
- ISBN-13: 978-0670020324
- Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 440 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,435,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Songs for the Missing: A Novel Hardcover – Oct 30 2008
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""Songs For The Missing" is both profound and profoundly beautiful. A haunting meditation on the power of those we lose, its emotional resonance defies description. Like most of Stewart O'Nan's work, my ultimate response was the highest praise one writer can pay another: envy. I so dearly wish I'd written it."
aDennis Lehane, author of "Mystic River"
aTaut prose and matter-of-fact detail enrich this compelling portrait of teenage life in small-town Ohio, as the disappearance of a popular girl on the cusp of leaving home for college changes the communal dynamic of family and friends.
The latest from O'Nan ("Last Night at the Lobster," 2007, etc.) initially reads like a whodunit, but who or why become less important than the character of the vanished Kim Larsen from the differing memories of those who knew her bestaor thought they didaand the ways in which Kim's disappearance allows all sorts of revelations to come to light. The opening chapter is the only one that views Kim's life from her own perspective: the job she tolerates, the little sister who occasionally annoys her, the parents whose tension between them sometimes rises to the surface, the friends with whom she shares routines and some confidences, the boyfriend with whom she isn't serious enough to stay with past the summer. She anticipates college as an escape from the town where "every night they fought a war against boredom and lost," yet she's understandably apprehensive about living away from home. Then she disappears, putting her parents into a panic, forcing her friends to decide which secrets to reveal, uniting the community in its attempts to aid the search and offer support to the family. Will Kim'sdisappearance end her parents' marriage or make it stronger? Is there a logical explanation, a motive, or is this simply evidence of "the world's incoherence"? Though the author sustains narrative momentum through the conventions of the police procedural (with chapter headings such as "Description of the Person, When Last Seen" and "Known Whereabouts"), ultimately the novel is less about a possible crime than about the interconnections of small-town life. "The problem was that everything was connected," thinks one of Kim's friends. "One lie covered another, which covered a third, which rested against a fourth. It all went back to Kingsville being so goddamn small."
A novel in which every word rings true.a
"Riveting . . . Songs for the Missing is an engaging and often excruciating read."
-"The Plain Dealer" (Cleveland)
" O'Nan is on a kind of mission to restore a simple, true sense of humanity to the novel."
-"The New York Times Book Review"
""Songs for the Missing" has a plot that is deceptively easy to summarize, but the book has a mood so subtle that only first-rate fiction can evoke it."
-"San Francisco Chronicle"
"O'Nan's writing is undeniably skillful . . . The pacing is spotless."
-"The Miami Herald" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Stewart O'Nan is the author of ten novels, including Snow Angels and A Prayer for the Dying, as well as works of nonfiction, including the bestselling book with Stephen King on the Boston Red Sox, Faithful. Granta named him one of the twenty Best Young American Novelists in 1995. He lives with his family in Avon, Connecticut. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
I found the characters to be very relatable. I could see myself in all of them, and even when I didn't agree with the decisions they made, I understood why they made them. I do wish their feelings and characters could have been explored more fully, but with so many characters it would have been quite difficult to do so without getting in the way of the plot.
It was hard for me to read at points, not because it was slow, but because it was so real. If you personally know someone who has gone missing, this will probably be a very hard book for you to read.
There were parts that weren't as developed as I would have liked, and the ending seemed kind of rushed, and not as fulfilling as I had hoped. I would still recommend it, but it's not the kind of book I would reread again and again. That said, I will never forget it.
Also recommended: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold