The Year of Fog – Michelle Richmond
From the book jacket -
Life changes in an instant. On a foggy beach. In the seconds when Abby Mason – photographer, fiancee, soon-to-be-stepmother – looks into her camera and commits her greatest error. Heartbreaking, uplifting, and beautifully told, here is the riveting tale of a family torn apart, of the search for the truth behind a child’s disappearance, and of one woman’s unwavering faith in the redemptive power of love – all made startlingly fresh through Michelle Richmond’s incandescent sensitivity and extraordinary insight.
Six-year-old Emma vanished into the thick San Francisco fog. Or into the heaving Pacific. Or somewhere just beyond: to a parking lot, a stranger’s van, or a road with traffic flashing by. Now, as the days drag into weeks, as the police lose interest and fliers fade on telephone poles, Emma’s father finds solace in religion and scientific probability – but Abby can only wander the beaches and city streets, attempting to recover the past and the little girl she lost. With her life at a crossroads, she will leave San Francisco for a country thousands of miles away. And there, by the side of another sea, Abby will make the most astounding discovery of all – as the truth of Emma’s disappearance unravels with stunning force.
My thoughts -
The Year of Fog is a pretty excellent novel. It has everything I desire in a book – great characters, an intriguing plot, a decent amount of suspense, good writing – what more is there for a girl to want? Michelle Richmond is a very talented author and I will definitely be looking for more from her in the future. Basically, from the moment I picked up the book, I hated having to pause my reading of it for any length of time… it sucked me in from the beginning and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next. One of the things that made this book so wonderful is how well the emotional rollercoaster of losing a child was written. I cannot imagine going through something so terrifying (especially considering the fact that I don’t even have any children) but what I can imagine is that Richmond wrote the way it would feel pretty darn accurately.
I also really loved the characters in this novel, especially Abby. I just couldn’t help feeling empathetic toward her, she racked herself with guilt over this situation that honestly could have happened to anyone, made herself feel so terrible about it, and at the same time realized she loved this little girl WAY more than she had really thought before she went missing. Her emotions were just so raw and real… I could really feel her pain with her as I was reading. Oddly enough, i wasn’t too huge a fan of Jake, but then again, I don’t think Richmond wrote the character in such a way that the reader is supposed to feel as sympathetic toward him – he was very cold to Abby, and basically deserted their relationship when he should have stuck with her in solidarity, which made me SO mad. But I guess different people react to these types of crazy situations differently, which Richmond captured very well.
And the ending… my goodness what a great ending. I mean, of course there are about a million ways an author could have ended a book like this, but I think that Richmond did an excellent job presenting us with a fulfilling conclusion that didn’t seem forced or fake. I mean, I gotta admit that it was slightly unbelievable… but it is fiction after all, so I’ll take it.
Highly recommended. Definitely read this book!
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