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by Efrem Sigel
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When Joshua and Nathalie Sandler's only child, 14-year-old Daniel, disappears one flawless summer day in a tiny hamlet in western Massachusetts, their world changes in an instant. Over the next year, Joshua neglects everything else to search ceaselessly for their son while Nathalie, a beautiful and gifted cellist, withdraws into herself, unable to play even a note of music. Sigel's novel immerses us in the Sandlers' world. We see the various townspeople who might be involved in this disappearance and its aftermath: the mean-spirited president of the Board of Selectmen, neighbors who either come forward to help or who hide evidence, a deeply human police chief, half a dozen troubled teenagers, and a dark-haired, passionate young woman with secrets of her own, who is drawn to Joshua and his plight. With lyrical prose and suspense that builds inexorably toward a resolution, Sigel portrays the anguish of parents, who, despite their crushing burden of uncertainty and grief, must continue to live their lives. While the mystery of Dan's disappearance deepens, Joshua and Nathalie struggle to find a new meaning to their existence and to discover, finally, whether a marriage that has come apart piece by piece can ever be made whole again.
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