Publication Date: 3rd May 2018
Imagine the nightmare of having your teenage daughter go missing for 4 days. But what happens if she is returned safe and sound and yet the nightmare continues?
Jen and her daughter Lana are taking a drawing holiday in the Derbyshire Dales to try and work on their fractured relationship and Lana’s depression and self-harm issues. It is during this holiday that Lana mysteriously goes missing for 4 whole days only to turn up again in a farmers field, cold, wet and disheveled and unwilling or unable to talk about where she had been or what has happened to her.
Jen tries desperately to piece together the evens of the four missing days but is met with answers of ‘I got lost’ and ‘I can’t remember’ from Lana. Hugh, Jen’s husband seems to be satisfied and happy that his daughter has made it back alive when the story could have been so different but Jen is convinced that something strange is going on and can’t let go of wanting to unravel the mystery and find out what her daughter has been through.
Why has Lana suddenly started talking in a different voice? Why can her mumbled whispering be heard when she’s alone? Why does she quietly follow Jen around the house? Why does she insist on sleeping with the light on all night and why is there suddenly a cat appearing in the house?
Jen takes it upon herself to try to figure her daughters behaviour out. The press are speculating over various theories. Was Lana part of a human sacrifice gone wrong? Was she one of the children who can apparently be shown the gateway to hell to see what it is like down there? Was it alien abduction? Satanic cults? Jen just wants her daughter back and will try anything to achieve this.
This is a story of family bonds, hope, teenage identity, depression and loneliness. I really enjoyed this story and raced through it within just a couple of sittings. The pacing is perfect, with a mix of short snappy chapters and longer more detailed ones. The tension which builds beautifully had me gripped. I just needed to know what had happened to Lana and could sympathise with Jen’s frustration at being shut out.
Whilst I did enjoy the writing and the whole reading experience, I have to say that the end felt slightly rushed and fell a little bit flat for me. That said it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story as a whole.
If you enjoyed Elizabeth Is Missing also by Emma Healey then you really should give this one a go too.
See you soon.
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