"Out for a hike one scorching afternoon in Sycamore, Arizona, a newcomer to town stumbles across what appear to be human remains embedded in the wall of a dry desert ravine. As news of the discovery makes its way around town, Sycamore’s longtime residents fear the bones may belong to Jess Winters, the teenage girl who disappeared suddenly some eighteen years earlier, an unsolved mystery that has soaked into the porous rock of the town and haunted it ever since. In the days it takes the authorities to make an identification, the residents rekindle stories, rumors, and recollections both painful and poignant as they revisit Jess’s troubled history. In resurrecting the past, the people of Sycamore will find clarity, unexpected possibility, and a way forward for their lives."I'm not sure what exactly to say about this book. It is obvious that many people just loved this novel, but for me it was a very difficult read.
Yes this was a very literary, beautifully written and very deep novel and not something you would want to take on vacation to perk yourself up or to get lost in. The book does not really end well -or at least it doesn't end in any way other than the one which we already figured out right fro the beginning. As a matter of fact, in some ways it was a deeply disturbing novel - (this is a bit of a spoiler but needs to be said as it is missing from the synopsis) -there is a pedophilia aspect to this book that some will find...disconcerting? upsetting? contrived? brilliant?
It was an interesting choice of the author to tackle something like this subject, but it is not the main crux of the book...it just seems to be that way since the topic is so controversial.
I struggled to get at least half-way though and them at about 80% I just started skimming to find out for sure how this was going to conclude.
My problems mostly stem from the fact that this book is told from so many different view points and the time frame switches back and forth from the year 1991 to the year 2009 (and I think we even did a horizontal time shift at one point. LOL).
Another thing I had difficulties with is that most of the main character's seem to need heavy doses of anti-depressants and top notch psychiatrists - there was not a single person who didn't have some sort of angst problem, which for me made this a very depressing read. Yes, this is normal in any town -large or small, but it might have helped to have one person who doesn't go off the deep end, who can keep their cool even during the worst that life can dish out.
I do understand that not everyone's lives are filled with sunshine and roses, so this is another reason why this book is going to be a hit. It really deals with real life in all of it's uncomfortable nakedness.
For me, I need something that takes me away from the problem's in my life and being reminded for this many pages on how bad it is out there just made me more depressed than I usually am.
*ARC supplied by publisher/and or author.