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Portable Magic

Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.

Currently reading

The Bungalow Mystery
P.M. Carlson, Russell H. Tandy, Carolyn Keene
The Remains of the Day
Kazuo Ishiguro, Simon Prebble
Duel of Eagles: The Mexican and U.S. Fight for the Alamo
Jeff Long
Progress: 11/431 pages
The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Carolyn Keene
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
The Return of the King
J.R.R. Tolkien, Rob Inglis
Progress: 13 %

Songs for the Missing ★★★☆☆

Songs for the Missing - Stewart O'Nan

I've often thought that novels conveniently focus on characters who don't seem to need to worry about ordinary things, like paying the bills, or who have regular jobs. Regular, everyday people, in other words. This novel does just that. It tells the story of very ordinary people experiencing a truly awful situation: the disappearance and possible murder of a young woman close to them. Although it begins with her experiences and POV prior to disappearance, this really isn't her story. It's the story of her parents, sister, boyfriend, and best friend as they experience her loss. It took several attempts before I could fall into this story, perhaps I just had to be in the mood for it. But once I did, I found it interesting enough to keep me going, but still oddly unsatisfying. I suspect that this is because the characters were just what I thought I had wanted. Very ordinary people. I couldn't feel any emotional connection with any of them, perhaps because it focuses mostly on what they do, and what they don't feel. We hear little of their interior dialogue. I still don't really understand their motivations and can only guess at them. In the end, the story just ends. No idea what happens in future, and I find myself not really caring, either. Overall, the time spent on this book was worthwhile, but I don't think I'd recommend it as a good read to others.