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Invisible: A Novel by Carla Buckley

Invisible: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Carla Buckley

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7214166,644 (3.75)None
Title:Invisible: A Novel
Authors:Carla Buckley
Info:Bantam (2012), Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:reading, To read

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Invisible: A Novel by Carla Buckley



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Having read Carla Buckley’s newest 2014 release, “Deepest Secrets” (which I thoroughly enjoyed); hence, wanted to read some of her earlier books.

Skillfully written, “Invisible”, is a compelling novel about going home, redemption, hidden secrets, regret, and the strong and complex relationships and ties of family.

A huge fan of whistleblower movies (The Firm, The Insider, Erin Brockovich, among others; this novel involved similar circumstances involving wrongful deaths) and company misdeeds - very intriguing!

A compelling story of two sisters, Dana (impulsive) and her sister, Julie (nurturing). They are very close, until a secret forces Dana to flee from home, and has no contact with her sister for the next sixteen years.

However, when Dana gets the news her sister is seriously ill, Dana feels compelled to return to their home town of Minnesota to help her sister. Dana finds her sister has died and left a teenage daughter, Peyton which is not fond of her aunt’s absence, nor her brother in law.

There is a mystery to be solved around her death and others within the town. As most cover-ups go, people are kept quiet. No one wants to be involved as others are afraid to speak up. Black Bear, MN has a secret and Dana begins her crusade against nano chemicals, to uncover these secrets; however, she has her own secrets to protect.

If these dark secrets come out, could change lives of more than her family, but the entire town and country. The story of a town of secrets with an epidemic kidney disease and questions --can the chemicals, plant, toxins, and environmental problems be the source of concern? Perceived as a troublemaker due to her absence in the town, Dana begins a fight of her life.

Peyton, the niece has dreams of being a marine biologist and the book has quite a bit of knowledge about this subject and anecdotes, which were fascinating.

I also liked the “conversation with Carla Buckley,” at the end and her inspiration of Invisible. (I wish all authors would add this section, as so meaningful as a reader). This book is ideal for book clubs and discussion (some wonderful topic are included). Another added feature: A sample of Buckley’s other book: “ The Things That Keep Us Here,” which I plan on reading soon.

A fast pace and thought provoking page-turner novel regarding a silent killer, deceptions, and healing of those involved – highly recommend.

( )
  JudithDCollins | Nov 27, 2014 |
Invisible was a good mystery read. The novelwas all over the place with complex family issues to environmental issues. It is told in first personby Dana carlson, the Aunt and in the third person from Peyton who is a sixteen year old. I only gave this bool 2 stars as i felt it was a bit slow at times. ( )
  teeth | Sep 15, 2013 |
Over breakfast this morning I read about John Snow, a London doctor in the mid-19th century whose research showed that polluted drinking water was responsible for the severe cholera outbreaks that were claiming so many lives in certain areas of the city. The authorities refused to believe him and his substantial evidence, preferring to believe the disease was being caused by bad air, not bad water.

Move this story ahead almost two centuries and change a few details and you have the basic plot for Carla Buckley's novel "Invisible." Dana Carlson returns to Black Bear, Minn., her hometown, after many years away after getting a call from her teenage niece telling her that her older sister, Julie, has seriously damaged kidneys and needs a transplant. After arriving in Black Bear, Dana learns that Julie has died and that a shocking number of other locals have failing kidneys, too.

She wonders what has happened in Black Bear since she left town under mysterious circumstances. Is something making all these people sick? Does it have anything to do with the most prominent local industry, a company that manufactures sunscreen and cosmetics? Her sister worked there. So does Julie's husband and daughter, Peyton.

Although "Invisible" is an interesting medical thriller that raises serious questions about the safety of nanotechnology, the novel comes most alive when Buckley writes about the relationship between Dana and Peyton. While Dana searches for answers, Peyton has many questions of her own. Why did Dana disappear? Why has she never even come back for a visit? Why does she stay in town after Julie's funeral? Why is she so committed to tracking down what may be threatening Black Bear when she doesn't live there anymore? What family secrets are being withheld from Dana?

The novel makes compelling reading, even if it doesn't always ring true. The story is telescoped into a matter of days, when in real life it would take months, if not years, to accomplish what Dana, who lacks even the training John Snow had, accomplishes. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Jun 28, 2013 |
Author: Carla Buckley
Published by: Bantam
Age Recommended: Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Book Blog For: GMTA

Rating: 5


"Invisible" by Carla Buckley was some good mystery read. I feel this read would appeal to the women-chit-lit. This novel will have you still thinking of it long after the read. "Invisible" was all over the place with a real complex family relationship to environmental issues that lead to a deep mystery. There will be many twist and turns...along with some surprises as you read through this novel. "Invisible" is told in first person by Dana Carlson (aunt) and in third person from Peyton Kelleher's who was a sixteen year old.

"This story is an environmental warning story, as Dana discovers a possible source for the increase in kidney in Black Bear. The potential toxin that Dana uncovers is an interesting topic, and it makes you wonder about the possible dangers of modern products."

We find Dana Carlson gets a call from her niece letting her know that her mom, Julie was very ill, Dana rushed back to Black Bear, Minnesota to her sister. Even though Dana had not spoken to Julie for over twenty years, when arriving Dana find that Julie had died.Now, this is where and when all the secrets began to come out and when I say to you that you must pick up this good read to see not only where and when but you will also get all of the what and how in this excellently written read. It is some intriguing read that I wasn't able to put down until the end only to see how these two were telling this to us.

Questions that will be asked and answered.....
"Is there an environmental problem in the town? Will Peyton find out the truth? Will Joe? What happens with Joe and Dana? Dana's job? Peyton? Will Peyton's grandma ever tell her the secrets? Could this work of fiction be true?" "Invisible" was definitely one of "lost chances, forgiveness, and healing." How does all of this fit together?...well, this is where you will have to pick up the good read to find out.

I felt this author did a good job making you wonder if this really could happen. Only leaving me to say Wow, what a read. If you like family drama and secrets with realistic characters .. you have come to the right place for "Invisible" would be a excellent read for you that I would recommend. ( )
  arlenadean | Apr 23, 2013 |
I was intrigued by the synopsis of Invisible and wanted to know what secret the sisters were keeping. This novel offered so many different elements; compassion, addiction, mystery, a cluster of unexplained illness, and an emotional journey. I became swept up in the tale, the characters and discovering the truth.

The prologue left me baffled as we jump ahead sixteen years but the author slowly revealed things and the pieces began to click into place.We meet Dana Carlson a demolition expert who is in the middle of taking down an abandoned building when she gets a phone call from Black Bear, Minnesota. The call is from Peyton; her sister's child, the one she has not seen since her birth sixteen years ago. She learns her sister is dying and after all these years she heads back to Black Bear and the secrets she has buried there. The tale that unfolds has several stories lines and each kept me entangled as Dana confronts her past and races to protect the people of Black Bear.

The tale is told from the POV’s of Dana and that of sixteen year old Peyton. Dana is complicated in the beginning and her motives unclear, but as we slide back and catch glimpses of her past I came to respect and adore her. I will not give things away, but Dana is one tough cookie, who loves unconditionally with great sacrifice. Her only shortcoming in my opinion was that she put the needs of everyone else first and it cost her and her family. Peyton despite some rocky times has grown up secure in the fact that her parents love her, she is compassionate about fish, and at the beginning of each of her chapters she tells us about a species of fish. Read them because they hint to her thoughts and emotions. I liked Peyton, she is kind of a loner and I became emotionally attached to her. Peyton’s emotions were raw and felt real. I thought Buckley did a great job of developing the characters. Other characters added to the tale, and while there was a romance both for Dana and Peyton it took a backseat in this emotional tale.

Buckley did a wonderful job of bringing Black Bear, Minnesota and the tale to life. While not everyone will understand how a secret can drive two sisters apart; as both a mother and sibling I could grasp what the sisters were going through and I understand that sometimes time itself creates an impenetrable wall that cannot be broken through. The tale felt genuine, the people dying in town and the events that took place felt real as the author blurred the lines of reality. The tale she told has happened, does happen and will happen again in small towns around the world. The pacing was wonderful and I loved getting inside the minds of both Peyton and Dana. The only thread that bothered me was about Dana’s life in Chicago and I felt it did not really add to the tale and brought up some issues that could not properly be addressed. The ending was open ended and left me with a good feeling.
Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer ( )
  kimbacaffeinate | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Returning to the Minnesota hometown she fled years earlier in the wake of a devastating secret, Dana mournfully attends her beloved sister's funeral and cares for her teenage niece while exposing the truth about a devastating affliction that is putting the entire community at risk.… (more)

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