Thursday, June 12, 2008

Review of Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan

Songs for the Missing
Stewart O'Nan
Release Date October 30, 2008
Barnes and Noble First Look
Songs for the Missing is the story of one family's tragedy as they deal with their daughter Kim's disappearance. This was the first book that I have read by O'Nan, I had read many great reviews on Late Night at the Lobster and Circus Fire that my expectations were pretty high.
The book starts from Kim's point of view and describes her last day with her family. Each chapter then flips points of view, I was confused a few times as to who was narrating the story! A few times I actually had to go back to reread the first few paragraphs to figure out who was telling the story.
I have no first-hand experience with the disappearance of a family member, however, I found some of the story unconvincing. Kim's mother, for example, turned into a media magnet and had to carefully consider everything she said in front of the media. Perhaps this is what society has taught us. I felt that she should have been a bit more emotional that her daughter was missing! Because of this I was unsympathetic toward her and really started to not like her.
I felt sorry for Kim's little sister. I thought she was old enough to deal the reality of her sister's disappearance. Her parents protected her throughout the story. Again, having never gone through this I may be off the ball here.
Overall, this was not a terrible book. I would have liked to see more character development and the story told from one person's point of view.


Anonymous said...

I felt that she was convincing as a grieving mother- people deal with grief in different ways and that was hers. That said, I found her the least likeable of all the characters!

Amy said...

I loved this book. But I agree that there was some head hopping going seemed that POV would switch even in chapters.