Author: Heather Gudenkauf
Format: paperback review galley - 384 pgs
Characters: Calli, Deputy Sheriff Louis, Petra, Martin, Antonio
Subject: missing children, selective mutism
Setting: small town in Iowa
Source: ARC from Mira books (pub date Aug 2009)
An absolutely heart-pounding read. I picked it up last night to start it so I could get an idea of about how long it would take. I finished it 3 1/2 hours later. I was reluctant to start it since it dealt with missing children, and after some of the darker reading I've been doing, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to handle it.
Briefly (NO SPOILERS) Calli and Petra - BFFs- aged 7, go missing early one morning. Parents, police, and townspeople begin the search in the woods behind the girls houses, where they liked to wonder. Ben, aged 14, Calli's brother goes into the woods to search.
Gudenkauf writes from knowledge of disabilities. One of the little girls who is missing suffers from 'selective mutism.' Much of the book deals with the mystery of why she is unable to speak. There is an element of mystery, a poignant lost love, great emotional development of all the characters. I was on the edge of my chair throughout, unable to put the book down.
The results of the search for the girls, the well-drawn players and the predictable (no more) ending are well worth staying up half the night.
Challenge: ARC completion
Many thanks to Mira Books (www.MIRABooks.com) for the review copy.