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Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan

Songs for the Missing (edition 2008)

by Stewart O'Nan

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6548114,746 ()75
Title:Songs for the Missing
Authors:Stewart O'Nan
Info:Viking (2008), Edition: Paperback Book Club, Paperback
Collections:To read

Work details

Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan

  1. 52
    The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (JGoto)
  2. 10
    Mystic River by Dennis Lehane (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  3. 00
    Place Last Seen: A Novel by Charlotte McGuinn Freeman (EnriqueFreeque)
  4. 00
    Unstolen by Wendy Jean (LynnB)
    LynnB: Both books deal with the impact of a missing family member on those left behind.
  5. 00
    The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond (ForeignCircus)
    ForeignCircus: Another haunting tale of a missing child.
  6. 00
    What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman (ForeignCircus)
    ForeignCircus: Another haunting tale of a missing child.
  7. 01
    The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf (ForeignCircus)
    ForeignCircus: Another haunting tale of a missing child.
  8. 01
    The Abortionist's Daughter by Elisabeth Hyde (verenka)
    verenka: Both books deal with a family falling apart because of the violent death of one member.

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Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
This is a moving book about the loss of a loved one. The plot is centered around a missing teenage daughter, but it's more about what the girl's family and friends go through as a result of her disappearance than it is about the mystery of what's happened to her. It's not the easiest book to read because it's certainly not uplifting, but O'Nan takes a profound look at the interconnectedness of family and friends and the aftershocks of loss. This book raises questions like, is it better to know hope is lost, or to continue hoping when hope should be gone? A wonderful book. ( )
  KatieCarella | Apr 12, 2014 |
I've often thought that novels conveniently focus on characters who don't seem to need to worry about ordinary things, like paying the bills, or who have regular jobs. Regular, everyday people, in other words. This novel does just that. It tells the story of very ordinary people experiencing a truly awful situation: the disappearance and possible murder of a young woman close to them. Although it begins with her experiences and POV prior to disappearance, this really isn't her story. It's the story of her parents, sister, boyfriend, and best friend as they experience her loss. It took several attempts before I could fall into this story, perhaps I just had to be in the mood for it. But once I did, I found it interesting enough to keep me going, but still oddly unsatisfying. I suspect that this is because the characters were just what I thought I had wanted. Very ordinary people. I couldn't feel any emotional connection with any of them, perhaps because it focuses mostly on what they do, and what they don't feel. We hear little of their interior dialogue. I still don't really understand their motivations and can only guess at them. In the end, the story just ends. No idea what happens in future, and I find myself not really caring, either. Overall, the time spent on this book was worthwhile, but I don't think I'd recommend it as a good read to others. ( )
  PortM | Nov 30, 2013 |
A solid book, but I wasn't as emotionally invested as I was with A Prayer for the Dying. ( )
  dtn620 | Sep 22, 2013 |
My heart hurt during this audio, keep the tissues handy. Feel for anyone going thru this ordeal ( )
  booklovers2 | Jul 14, 2013 |
Don't pick up this book expecting some kind of mystery a la Tru TV. The reviewers who note that nothing happens, to the book's detriment, kind of miss the point. O'Nan takes us on the plodding journey of those who are left behind when one of their own disappears. The petty frustrations, the short sharp bursts of humor, and the excruciating business of getting on with life when there's a huge hole at the center of it are the point of the story.
If I had a complaint about the book, it would be that some of the characters seem to act and think inconsistently--the parents in particular. But a strong argument can be made that humans rarely, if ever, act consistently in real life. Particularly when faced with a life-altering trajedy. The resolution of Kim's disappearance too left something to be desired, although I suspect that was intentional on the part of the author.
Again, this isn't a mystery that wraps up in a surprise twist and a neat bow at the end. The beauty of the story is in the interwoven threads of the tapestry, not the big picture it makes. ( )
  mermaidatheart | May 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
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Someday I'll wish upon a star
and wake up where the clouds are far behind me. Where troubles melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops that's where you'll find me.
For Trudy and Caitlin and Stephen
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July, 2005. It was the summer of her Chevette, of J.P. and letting her hair grow.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
“It was the summer of her Chevette, of J.P. and letting her hair grow.” It was also the summer when, without warning, popular high school student Kim Larsen disappeared from her small Midwestern town. Her loving parents, her introverted sister, her friends and boyfriend, must now do everything they can to find her. As desperate search parties give way to pleading television appearances, and private investigations yield to personal revelations, we see one town’s intimate struggle to maintain hope, and finally, to live with the unknown.

Stewart O’Nan’s new novel begins with the suspense and pacing of a thriller and soon deepens into an affecting family drama of loss. On the heels of his critically acclaimed and nationally bestselling Last Night at the Lobster, Songs for the Missing is an honest, heartfelt account of one family’s attempt to find their child. With a soulful empathy for these ordinary heroes, O’Nan draws us into the world of this small Midwestern town and allows us to feel a part of this family.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067002032X, Hardcover)

Returning again to the theme of working-class people and their wrenching concerns, Songs for the Missing begins with the suspenseful pace of a thriller, following an Ohio community?s efforts to locate a young woman who has gone missing. It soon deepens into an affecting portrait of a family trying desperately to hold onto itself and the memory of a daughter whose return becomes increasingly unlikely. Stark and honest, this is an intimate account of what happens behind the headlines of a very American tragedy.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

After eighteen-year-old Kim Larsen disappears, her family endures the horror of not knowing her fate.

(summary from another edition)

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