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The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond
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The Year of Fog (edition 2007)

by Michelle Richmond

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988None8,648 (3.67)41
Member:BettyB112
Title:The Year of Fog
Authors:Michelle Richmond
Info:Delacorte Press (2007), Edition: 1ST, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond

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English (70)  French (1)  All languages (71)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
How do you go forward when you lose your boyfriend's daughter? Well-written, engaging and thoughtful.

Bookcrossing: http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8375635/
  wareagle78 | Jan 22, 2014 |
Lately I'm compelled to read books set in San Francisco. Now that school is over, I feel like I can finally participate in my city and for me, that definitely includes books set in the city or by SF authors.

This one is particularly good, although it relies a bit on coincidence in the third act but then that's ok because I think most things that are attributed to destiny or divine intervention are merely lucky coincidence. What it doesn't do is neatly resolve with the expected ending - a particularly bold move I thought. The story is more about how a woman becomes a mother in ways that are not biological. For those of us who have decided to not have children of our own, The Year of Fog speaks to the nurturing, protective instinct that is present even when a child sprung forth from our loins is not. I suspect women who have had children will tell me I can't realize the depth of what changes fundamentally after the birth of a child and I will acknowledge that they have every right to say/think/believe that. But are adoptive mothers any less a mother? And that's just one scenario - there are hundreds.

Ok, off my soapbox. The book is great. So there. ( )
  fogcitybean | Aug 13, 2013 |
Abby, the main character in this book is happy, and engaged to be married to Jake who has a daughter Emma. One weekend while Jake is away Abby takes Emma to a San Francisco beach on a foggy day and the worst thing you could ever imagine happens . She lets go of Emma's hand and looks away and Emma disappears. And it is even worse because Emma is not her child but her partner's, and he finds it difficult to forgive her for what has happened.What do you do then? Emma (and Jake at first] spent every hour of the day searching and trying to find out what had happened to Emma. But time passed, a memorial service was eventually held, and most of the searchers gave up hope of ever finding her. Jake tried to move on with his lfe but Abby would not give up. This was an absorbing read, one that I kept reading to find out what the end would be. However I did find it a bit long and I did get a bit tired at times of all the information on memory and photography. But it was a believable picture of people coping with the loss of a child, and the not knowing what had happened to her. That would be the worst I think. I am now keen to read another of this author's books. ( )
  kiwifortyniner | Jul 28, 2013 |
Each year, a book is chosen for Silicon Valley Reads. Organizations, from book stores to libraries have events around this book and the author goes to different venues to perform readings and answer questions. The 2011 selection is The Year of Fog, by Michelle Richmond, a local San Francisco author. The story starts out quickly. Abby Mason is with her fiance's 6-year old daughter, Emma, on Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Abby, a free-lance photographer, turns away to take a picture and when she looks up, Emma is gone. The rest of the book is Abby's story of the ensuing year - searching for Emma, trying to recover her relationship with her fiance, and mostly, trying to find something in her memory that might give her a clue about Emma's disappearance. The book does a good job of describing Abby's feelings and thoughts. The diversions about all the nuances of how fickle our memory can be were fascinating. The book, the writing, and the audio narration were all good, but I didn't feel that deep emotion or gut-wrenching sadness that other books about losing children have evoked. ( )
  jmoncton | Jun 3, 2013 |
5/6/08
This story of a photographer whose fiance's daughter is kidnapped while in her care has superb descriptions of photography, San Francisco and Costa Rica but the pace is uneven with humdrum padded portions while awaiting the exciting denouement. ( )
  featherbooks | Apr 30, 2013 |
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Epigraph
"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
Dedication
for Bonnie and John
First words
Here is the truth, that is what I know: we were walking on Ocean Beach, hand in hand.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.
Haiku summary

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:21 -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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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