It’s a bright, sunny, windy, cool morning as I sip my steaming cup of chai tea and think about the book I finished yesterday. I have a virtual meeting with my principal in just under an hour, so this may be a short post, but I think it will be a good use of my time.
I read another book from my shelves this past week, Three Days Missing, a domestic thriller by Kimberly Belle. This novel, set in present-day Atlanta, is told from the points of view of Kat Jenkins and Stefanie (Stef) Huntington, two mothers who could not be more different. Kat is a member of the “working poor”, barely able to pay the bills, let alone purchase gifts for her eight-year-old son, Ethan. Stef is the mayor’s wife, a woman who has it all and can afford even more, treating her son Sammy to whatever he wants. Sammy and Ethan are in the same class at the exorbitantly expensive, exclusive Cambridge Academy, where Kat’s soon-to-be ex-husband Andrew insists on sending their son, since he is a near-genius. Ethan is being bullied at school, but the teacher, Miss Emma, will do nothing about it. So Kat is surprised when Ethan shows such enthusiasm for the overnight class trip to visit the gold mines about an hour’s drive outside of the city. Kat offers Ethan a rare treat, the mummy sleeping bag he’s envied at Walmart, and all seems well… until Kat is woken in the middle of the night with the news that every parent dreads: Ethan is missing. Soon after this, Stef receives a call from someone claiming to have abducted Sammy. Ethan really is missing, Sammy is safe, but since the boys resemble one another, the Huntingtons, and in particular Sammy, may hold the clues to finding Ethan before it is too late. The rest of the novel weaves together the stories of Kat and Stef, offering the reader a detailed account of each mother's experience as they cope with their situations while the tension builds as the story races to a satisfying conclusion. This was another advanced reader’s copy I received some time ago, and I’m glad to have finally read it. It was better than I expected, quite well-written but somewhat predictable. Still, Belle did a good job of adding unexpected twists to the plot to keep it interesting. I think I may be suffering from what I’d like to call “reader fatigue”: I’m just tired of reading about missing children and the dread, anxiety and stress that the mothers of these children are feeling, which can seem a bit overwhelming and repetitive at times. I just listened to an audiobook by Lisa Jewell, Watching You, which also dealt with mothers, parents, and children. I enjoyed Jewell’s book, which was well-written and polished, with a complex plot that was anything but predictable. Anyway, Belle’s book was interesting enough, and while the ending was no surprise, the very, very end revealed an unexpected twist that made it worthwhile. If you like domestic thrillers, this might be perfect for you.
That’s all for today, as my meeting is going to start soon. Stay safe and keep reading!
Bye for now…
PS Libraries are now open for curbside pickup, so you can place holds and pick your items up when they become available. WOO HOO!! I already have nine items to pick up, and more on the way - yikes!