Songs for the Missing

What would you do if one of your children simply never came home?

It’s a question many parents simultaneously fear and hope they never have to answer. Yet thousands, every single day, do.

One afternoon in small town Kingsville, Ohio, 18-year-old Kim Larsen disappeared on her way to work.

This is not the story of Kim but of her family, her mother, her father, her 15-year-old sister Lindsay and the world left behind.

With the help of the Internet, Kim’s parents launch a plan of attack; media exposure, assembling lists of names to contact, canvassing the town, placing posters, organizing hundreds of volunteers, grid-by-grid searches, ordering buttons, T-shirts and balloons, and sorting through 1000's of messages from well-wishers. They monitor web sites and update blogs. Anything to avoid descending into the madness of grief.

Almost mechanically, author O'Nan's carefully avoids the intense overwrought emotions of the family and focuses solely on the routine of the search. Yet, in this brilliant tale, the story of missing children is explored and examined in such a way readers cannot help but to feel touched, thankful and yet saddened. Heartbreaking, without being sappy, Songs for the Missing shares not the emotional highs of tragedy but instead the mind-numbing acceptance of a horrifying new unchosen reality.




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