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The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond

The Year of Fog

by Michelle Richmond

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1,1878110,253 (3.66)48

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Great writing, engaging story. ( )
  cubsfan3410 | Sep 1, 2018 |
When I go on vacation, I like to read books that place in that locale. This year my destination was San Francisco, and I happened upon this wonderful novel about memory, obsession, and one woman’s search for a missing child.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear about a child who has gone missing without a single trace, I shake my head, say a quick prayer, and tell others that I cannot imagine what the parents are feeling. Michelle Richmond did an amazing job in keep the character in one place yet moving forward at the same time, all the while letting readers be voyeurs of this horrific happening.
Freelance photographer Abby Mason is the step-mother-to-be to six-year-old Emma. Abby loves her new role as fiancée and as friend and mom. Abby and Emma go to the foggy Ocean Beach almost every day. Today it may be summer, but it’s almost always cold and foggy at this remote beach. Emma twists her tiny hand from Abby’s and runs ahead. Momentarily distracted by a dead seal pup, when Abby turns back to Emma, she has disappeared in the fog. Literally, she is gone.
Readers will get a behind-the-scenes look at a search for a missing child. The police and volunteers who comb the area, the flyers, the reward posting, the sleepless nights, the inability to choke down more than a few morsels of food, the fear that grips Abby and Jake, Emma’s father.
Police at first believe she has drowned. Then they look at the Jake and Abby as possible suspects. Jake goes on national television to plead with anyone who may have seen Emma, especially her mother, Lisbeth, who abandoned Jake and Emma three years earlier.
As the minutes turn to hours to days to weeks to months, the police give up as new, more solvable cases capture their attention. After months, Jake wants to hold a memorial service and move on with life. But not Abby, she refuses to believe that Emma cannot be found.
Readers go with her on her travels through the Bay area, shoving flyers into strangers’ hands, practically begging for help. Readers go with Abby on her quest to locate any memory of their surroundings on the beach that day.
I don’t often have a need to peek at a novel’s ending, but the tension is so great that it was all I could do not to peep at the ending.
I give The Year of Fog 6 out of 5 stars. ( )
  juliecracchiolo | Mar 12, 2018 |
Not bad, but this kind of slow, meditative story about a major trauma was not what I was up for right now.
  jen.e.moore | Jan 20, 2018 |
Gripping story of a woman whose boy-friend's daughter vanishes under her watch. Hauting. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Aug 24, 2017 |
Full review to follow, eventually, if not sooner. Loved visiting San Francisco in this book, particularly Potrero Hill, though missed any mention of Dogpatch. The author did a beautiful job helping me revisualize a place I love, and i describing Costa Rica, a place I hope to go. I rarely let book blurbs sway me, but one of my favorite authors of this genre endorsed the book. While I agree it was a decent read, my enthusiasm didn't match the blurb. ( )
  bookczuk | Mar 27, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
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"Viewfinder cameras have a simple plastic glass viewer and no adjustable focusing system. The viewer is located just above or to the side of the lens, and indicates approximately what the final photograph will look like (though some parallax problems-the difference between what the eye sees through the viewer and what is actually recorded through the lens-are apparent in the processed negative or print)." -Henry Horenstein, Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual

"The light of memory, or rather the light that memory lends to things, is the palest light of all..." -Eugene Ionescom Present Past, Past Present
for Bonnie and John
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Here is the truth, that is what I know: we were walking on Ocean Beach, hand in hand.
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Book description
Here is the truth, this is what I know: I was walking on the beach with Emma. It was cold and very foggy. She let go of my hand. I stopped to photograph a baby seal, then glanced up toward the Great Highway. When I looked back, Emma was gone.

From this moment unfolds the spellbinding story of Abby Mason — photographer, fiancee, soon-to-be-stepmother — and the consequences of her greatest error. A riveting drama of how life can change in an instant, of a family torn apart by the search for the truth behind a child's disappearance, and of one woman's unwavering faith in the power of love. The Year of Fog is a profoundly original glimpse into the mysterious and wondrous workings of the human heart, all made startlingly fresh through novelist Richmond's incandescent sensitivity and extraordinary insight.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385340125, Paperback)

Life changes in an instant. On a foggy beach. In the seconds when Abby Mason—photographer, fiancée soon-to-be-stepmother—looks into her camera and commits her greatest error. Heartbreaking, uplifting, and beautifully told, here is the riveting tale of a family torn apart, of the search for the truth behind a child’s disappearance, and of one woman’s unwavering faith in the redemptive power of love—all made startlingly fresh through Michelle Richmond’s incandescent sensitivity and extraordinary insight.

Six-year-old Emma vanished into the thick San Francisco fog. Or into the heaving Pacific. Or somewhere just beyond: to a parking lot, a stranger’s van, or a road with traffic flashing by. Devastated by guilt, haunted by her fears about becoming a stepmother, Abby refuses to believe that Emma is dead. And so she searches for clues about what happened that morning—and cannot stop the flood of memories reaching from her own childhood to illuminate that irreversible moment on the beach.

Now, as the days drag into weeks, as the police lose interest and fliers fade on telephone poles, Emma’s father finds solace in religion and scientific probability—but Abby can only wander the beaches and city streets, attempting to recover the past and the little girl she lost. With her life at a crossroads, she will leave San Francisco for a country thousands of miles away. And there, by the side of another sea, on a journey that has led her to another man and into a strange subculture of wanderers and surfers, Abby will make the most astounding discovery of all—as the truth of Emma’s disappearance unravels with stunning force.

A profoundly original novel of family, loss, and hope—of the choices we make and the choices made for us—The Year of Fog beguiles with the mysteries of time and memory even as it lays bare the deep and wondrous workings of the human heart. The result is a mesmerizing tour de force that will touch anyone who knows what it means to love a child.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:04 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Photographer Abby Mason's life is changed forever by the disappearance of the young girl with whom she had been walking on a cold and foggy beach, and her desperate search for the truth behind the child's vanishing.

» see all 6 descriptions

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Michelle Richmond is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Average: (3.66)
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