Monday, September 8, 2008

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond

With her fiance, Jake, out of town for the weekend, freelance photographer Abby Balfour is watching his six-year-old daughter, Emma, by herself for the first time. They are on the beach when Abby turns away briefly to photograph a dead seal pup. When she looks up, Emma has disappeared. Panicked, Abby searches the beach and the parking lot, but finds no traces of Emma and is forced to call in the authorities.

Set against a foggy San Francisco backdrop, The Year of Fog is about the aftermath of every parents worst nightmare - losing a child. As Jake and Abby frantically search for Emma, the odds of finding her seem to dwindle with each passing day, and Jake finally succumbs to the police investigator's theory that Emma had been swept up in the current that day and drowned. Consumed by guilt and fear, Abby refuses to give up, and her perseverance leads her to the surfing world of Costa Rica as readers quickly turn the pages in hopes that Emma will be found.

Before I read this book, I had spoken with someone who read it and found it disappointing. Therefore,I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this psychological page-turner. Written from Abby's perspective, the narrative is so effective that readers can't help but get deeply engaged in a story that suggests that a tradegy like this can really happen to anyone.

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