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Monday, November 3, 2008
The Missing Girl by Norma Fox Mazer
Five sisters, all with unique personalities: Beauty is the oldest, but she doesn’t live up to her name; Mim is the quiet, introspective sister that can calm the group; Stevie doesn’t want to live by the rules, she just wants to play the game her way; Fancy lives in her own world that revolves around her teacher and what she tells her special class; Autumn is the baby...
They all work and play together, but their lives are not as happy as they could be. The girls’ mother works hard to make ends meet since their father was hurt in an accident, but the money isn’t coming in. The fighting and stress between the parents is obvious, most notably at the dinner table, and the girls can only hope for the best and help contribute when they can.
What they don’t know is that someone….a typical, everyday, ordinary person…. is watching them, deciding which one he would want to take. But to him, it’s all a fantasy that cannot be acted upon. And that’s harmless, isn’t it? To think about it and not commit the act? But sometimes you can’t help yourself…
The girls’ world goes on a collision course when their parents decide that one of them has to leave home and her sisters to live with an aunt, but only until things are better financially at home. This doesn’t make any of them happy, especially when their cousin comes to take one of them away. But what happens to the other sister, who suddenly disappears, and no one knows where, is what causes their world to collapse. Where is she? Who is she with? What happened to her?
Norma Fox Mazer writes a story that depicts the separate but unified lives of the Herbert sisters and the roles they play when tragedy strikes. All of the girls reveal themselves slowly and innocently, while the other main character, the unnamed perpetrator, reveals himself almost from the start. The mood is automatically captured within the first chapter and the story unfolds itself smoothly, not in patches, where alternate views of the holistic situation is told through his side and the Herbert girls’ POV. The psychology of child abduction as well as the fallout of the victim’s family is realistically portrayed. This is an excellent read and good companion book to Scott’s Living Dead Girl.