Archive for the ‘Disappearance’ Category

Sarah Dessen may have some competition with love stories, in the form of Morgan Matson.¬† SinceYouSince You’ve Been Gone is Matson’s latest book. And while the premise reminds me a bit of Maureen Johnson’s Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes (having a list of things to do that takes you out of your comfort zone), Since You’ve Been Gone stands on its own as an enjoyable read.

Emily’s best friend, Sloane, has disappeared. Emily came back from vacation to find no one home at Sloane’s house. She doesn’t return texts or phone calls. A week goes by. Two weeks. No Sloane. Emily and Sloane were a team. They talked/texted constantly. They went everywhere together. Emily was the shy one and Sloane the outgoing one. They complemented each other. What is Emily without her?

Then one day her mother tells her she got mail. It’s a letter from Sloane, or rather a list of 13 things Emily must do. Such things as skinny dip, hug a Jamie, steal something. The first thing she tries is going to the Orchard, a former orchard which has become a hangout. Usually she’d go with Sloane. But now she’s got to go alone. There she sees Frank Porter.

Frank. The senior class president. In the running for valedictorian. Boyfriend to Lissa. When she finds she is out of gas, Frank takes her to a local gas station. In return for the favor, he asks Emily to teach him how to long-distance run, since she’s on the cross country team.¬†Thinking it’ll never happen, she agrees.

But of course, Frank keeps turning up. While Emily’s jogging. At the drive in. At the Orchard. What’s going on? They ultimately become friends and spend a lot of time together, especially since Lissa is in Princeton for a summer program.

I’m sure you can guess the rest, but even if you can, it’s the journey, not the destination that’s fun. And…what about Sloane?

Since You’ve Been Gone is a great summer romance read.

P.S. I also liked Second Chance Summer, so give that one a try as well.

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AfterImGoneIn 1959 Felix married Bambi. In 1976 he disappears, avoiding a jail sentence. In 1986, Julie, Felix’s girlfriend prior to his disappearance, disappears as well. In 2001 her body was found not far from Felix and Bambi’s home. The question is: Who killed her? The answer is supplied by Laura Lippman in After I’m Gone.

Inspired by an actual incident in which a Baltimore gambler disappeared leaving a wife, three children and a girlfriend, Lippman puts her own spin on this.

After I’m Gone is not so much a mystery as it is a character study. It probes into the life of Roberto ‘Sandy’ Sanchez, a retired cop and widower who, on a consulting basis, handles cold cases. It describes Bambi and her relationship with her three daughters, one of whom is too young to really remember her father before his disappearance. It studies the relationship between Bambi and Bert Gelman, Felix’s friend and attorney, and with Lorraine, Gelman’s wife. It explores a family’s take on Judaism.

There’s not a lot of action in After I’m Gone, nor police procedural, nor following clues. It is more a family history and a well written one at that. I don’t remember reading any Laura Lippman, known for her Tess Monaghan series, but I’d definitely add her to my reading list.


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