Book 72 of my 2016 Reading Challenge
read from August 30 - 31
Cemetery Girl by David Bell
Summary (via the book jacket)
Tom and Abby Stuart had everything: a perfect marriage, successful careers, and a beautiful twelve-year-old daughter, Caitlin. Then one day Caitlin vanished without a trace. For a while they grasped at every false hope and followed every empty lead, but the tragedy ended up changing their lives, overwhelming them with guilt and dread, and shattering their marriage.
Four years later, Caitlin is found alive - dirty and disheveled yet preternaturally calm. She won't discuss where she was or what happened. Then the police arrest a suspect connected to her disappearance, but Caitlin refuses to testify, leaving the Stuarts with a choice: Let the man who may be responsible for destroying their lives walk away, or take matters into their own hands. And when Tom decides to try to uncover the truth for himself, he finds that nothing that has happened yet can prepare him for what he is about to discover.
I read it in practically one sitting and was completely absorbed but the ending was so ridiculous and implausible it threw me off and I dropped an entire star (from 4 to 3) as a result.
It's not a spoiler that she's found since it's in the description but it was strange since it didn't actually happen until page 145, making the conversations between Tom and Abby until that point about what kind of hope to still have pointless. I was just waiting for her to be found and the "real" story to begin since I knew that's what would happen.
It's also not a spoiler that Caitlin refuses to testify against her kidnapper since that's also in the description. I understand the concept of Stockholm Syndrome but feel it wasn't fully explored in this book. I didn't understand why Caitlin would remain so attached to him...there were no flashbacks or memories of their time together that may have helped, and the descriptions of his appearance and attitude didn't help either.
A great read while I was reading it but now that it's done and I begin to dissect it for review, I'm not impressed.
A Few Quotes from the Book
"At some point, all parents realize their children have layers that may remain forever unexplored. Maybe I learned it sooner than most. For whatever reason, Caitlin's uncharted depths formed a black hole at the center of my being, and when she disappeared six years later, I thought of that moment often."
""No," he said. "She's just a little girl. I've never seen her."
"She'd be sixteen now."
"Sixteen? How old is she in the picture?"
"Do you know how much a kid changes between twelve and sixteen?"
I put the photo back in my wallet.
"I wish I did," I said. "I really wish I did.""