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Invisible: A Novel by Carla Buckley

Invisible: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Carla Buckley

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9316129,846 (3.66)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 (Random House Reader's Circle) by Carla Buckley



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Review: Invisible by Carla Buckley.

Well written, touching novel which gets inside the heads of several of its characters to show how each of our realities can be different while living through the same set of circumstances. The story is both suspenseful and striving and sometimes predictable with family secrets, environmental crises, and complex characters. The story is also an environmental warning issue surrounded by the research of nanotechnology. Nanomaterials have already been proven to behave like asbestos in the human body.

The author alternates chapters by managing Dana’s character and the character of sixteen year old Peyton throughout the story. Dana’s chapters frequently include vignettes from the past that illustrate her own secret history, while Payton’s includes information on ocean life that thematically echoes her own struggles. Peyton is dealing with the death of her mother, boyfriend and best friend issues, her dad seems to be drinking again, and followed-up by the arrival of a not-very-welcome aunt, named Dana.

Julie was Payton’s mother, Dana’s sister, and Frank’s wife who was diagnosed with kidney failure along with others in the town of Black Bear. Dana decides to investigate a possible source for the increase of kidney failure in the town and uncovers a potential toxin in the air, underground and being used by the town’s only grandfathered family business at the Plant Industry in their new product line of sunscreen.

The novel has a lot to offer in many issues and history but I felt like the last fifty pages or so the author rushed to end every last question that I wanted answered fruitfully to leaving me hanging. I thought maybe somewhere near the end the author would have said, “To Be Continued” and a series would develop in the future….

I did like the story but frustrated at the end…..
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
Invisible by Carla Buckley is a mystery that features complex family relationships and a mystery. Dana Carlson's sister, Julie, is dying. When Dana is called by Julie's teenage daughter, Peyton, she hurries back to Black Bear, Minnesota. After being estranged from Julie for 16 years, she arrives too late to say good-bye to her sister. Peyton, who is already emotionally distant from her peers, is understandably suffering and Dana stays after the funeral to try and help her and Julie's husband, Frank. Frank, however, resumes drinking and resents Dana's presence.

Adding to this already volatile mix is the notebook Julie left behind. She was sure that something caused her illness and it was making others in town sick too. Dana, amid her own regrets and worries, takes on the investigation her sister started, much to the resentment of the whole town.

Invisible has been favorably compared to novels by Jodi Picoult, which I think is a fair comparison. While there is an overwhelming mystery over the cause of Julie's illness, as well as another mystery in Dana's life, there are also many underlying themes, including regret, redemption, addiction, greed, secrets, government safety regulations, to name a few.

The chapters alternate between Dana's and Peyton's point of view. Peyton's chapters open with her discussing a different marine species, which gives clues to her emotional state. Both Dana and Peyton are well developed characters and you will gain some understanding of Julie through their eyes. Frank was less developed and a bit more formulaic.

The plot for the main mystery and the family drama, although somewhat predictable, is engaging and kept my attention. In some ways the mystery involving Dan's demolition work felt like an unnecessary addition to the novel, although bringing up her issues with her partners made sense. Even though circumstances had me reading this novel over a much longer period of time than I would normally take, I enjoyed the pacing of the plot and never felt as if I should just rush to the end.

Highly Recommended

Read an Excerpt

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Random House and Netgalley for review purposes.


( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
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 |
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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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