Monday, 4 June 2018

Review ~ The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana

Mantle Books
Pan Macmillan
31 May 2018

My thanks to the publishers and ed public relations for my copy of this book

What's it all about ..

When Anna Flores' adored older sister goes missing as a teenager, Anna copes by disappearing too, just as soon as she can: running as far away from her family as possible, and eventually building a life for herself abroad. 

Thirty years later, the death of her mother finally forces Anna to return home. Tasked with sorting through her mother's possessions, she begins to confront not just her mother's death, but also the huge hole Gabriella's disappearance left in her life - and finds herself asking a question she's not allowed herself to ask for years: what really happened to her sister?

My thoughts about it..

Thirty years on from her older sister's disappearance and the loss doesn't get any easier for Anna Flores who was just twelve when Gabriella failed to return home from school in the autumn of 1982. When Anna returns to her childhood home after her mother's death, the grief and loss, so cleverly hidden over the intervening years, comes brimming back to the surface.

What then follows is a beautifully written family drama which looks at the secrets families keep, not just between themselves, but also from the wider community in which they live. Moving effortlessly between time frames, the story of Gabriella's disappearance gradually comes to light but it is only in Anna's adult world where the jigsaw pieces of the puzzle start to make chilling sense. I thought that Anna was portrayed very sensitively, you can feel the pain of her loss, still so keenly felt, all these years later, but it was in Anna's childhood were the story really came alive. The desperation of twelve year old Anna trying so hard to find her sister was really heartbreaking and made me wanted to bundle her up in a blanket to stop her hurting so much.

The Missing Girl is a wonderful example of domestic noir, part family drama, part psychological thriller which is all beautifully put together in a package which keeps you guessing from start to finish.

About the Author

Jenny Quintana grew up in Essex and Berkshire, before studying English Literature in London. She has taught in London, Seville and Athens and has also written books for teaching English as a foreign language. She is a graduate of the Curtis Brown Creative writing course. She now lives with her family in Berkshire. The Missing Girl is her first novel.

Twitter @jennyquintana95 #TheMissingGirl

@MantleBooks @panmacmillan

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