The disappearance of Kim Larsen from the small town of Kingsville, Ohio opens the story of family and friends banded together to overcome personal fears, questions of fate, and dealings with tragedy. The book slowly reveals the characters that shaped Kim’s life: her secluded sister, adoring parents and unique and wild friends. The story of Kim’s disappearance is not actually the focus; instead the book highlights the relationships and lives changed by her disappearance. The enduring emotional struggles and consequences faced by those closest to her make up a majority of the book. The characters are believable, and the families struggle over the disappearance of their beloved daughter seems so real it is heartbreaking. The story and the characters involved remind you of your neighbor, your family, and your own friends and Stewart O’Nan gives us subtle reminders of the uncertainties of life. The end leaves the reader a little flustered, after rapidly turning the pages to find answers to questions that will never be fully answered. It seems that over all a lot of work went into the build up of the characters and the storyline, but the accumulation of too many gaps and unanswered questions leaves something missing. Ironically, the typical good winning over evil and justice served will not be found within these pages, but the unity of family and friends in times of despair allows hope and optimism to shine through, and makes this seemly true story a great read.
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