Expected publication: March 14, 2017
Simon & Schuster
I came across this book by chance. I was actually searching for another book and this one popped up. I thought it sounded really interesting.
As the book opens we meet Meredith Oliver age thirteen. Meredith is in the eighth grade, she tells us how it’s all downhill after grade five.
“In fifth grade you were still friends with everyone, whether you liked it or not because it was easier for the adults that way”
The playing field was even and the same things happened to everyone. But by sixth grade the playing field drastically changed. Meredith has spent the last two years since trying to find her place.
All of this is made so much harder by Lisa Bellow….
Lisa Bellow and Meredith Oliver are not friends. They actually don’t like each other much at all.
One afternoon after school Meredith decides to stop at the local sandwich shop. She really wants a root beer. However, when she sees Lisa Bellow in the shop placing an order for moment she debates walking away. But when Lisa catches her eye through the glass, Meredith figures it will look weird if she leaves now, so she walks in. Two minutes later a man enters the store with a gun and orders the girls to the floor.
Both of their lives are forever changed.
Meredith is terrified… positive she’s about to die. But the next moment the man is gone and she’s alone on the floor. The man has left ….but he’s taken Lisa with him.
In the aftermath of Lisa’s abduction the community rallies together, Meredith retreats into herself. She rarely speaks to anyone. Her mother, Claire doesn’t know how to get through to her. She knows she’s still lucky that her daughter is not the one missing, she’s right down the hall in her bedroom…..yet she’s not.
How does a family go on after something like this happens?
A story about a missing girl but also the girl left behind. We also see how the families are affected by this devastating crime. How they relate to each other as they try to deal with what has happened. Each individual copes in their own way, ways very different from what we might expect.
This is a well-written and interesting story that was easy to follow. The characters realistic and well-drawn, flaws and all. I was fascinated with how Meredith coped in the aftermath of what had happened. I found Meredith’s mother, Claire especially intriguing as I tried to understand some of her actions. As the mother of a teenage girl this was a terrifying read in many ways.
The Fall of Lisa Bellow is a novel about a horrible crime and the aftermath of that crime. But it is also about family, love, friendship, loss, anger, guilt, and forgiveness. A dark yet beautifully written coming of age story. I am absolutely looking forward to reading more from Susan Perabo.
Thank you NetGalley, Simon & Schuster, and Susan Perabo for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.