Friday, March 19, 2010

The Missing by Tim Gautreaux

I love a book with an absorbing atmosphere, a book that transports me fully to some other place (and often some other time), and makes me feel as if I am a part of a completely new and foreign world. The Missing is one of those books. It begins in the days just after World War I when Sam Simoneaux is helping to clean up the battlefields in France, then moves to his tenuously happy life in New Orleans. When a momentary lapse allows a child to be kidnapped he starts out on a quest to find her and reclaim that small bit of post-war peace. That is, of course, easier said than done. The book takes place on a concert boat moving from port to port on the Mississippi River, on the streets of New Orleans, and in the swampy woods of Louisiana and its surrounds. If Gautreaux had only managed atmosphere, though, this wouldn’t have been as great a novel. He also has wonderful characters and a fascinating story. This is absolutely one of my top ten books of 2010. ~Lillian

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