Author: Rebecca Podos
Publication: Balzer + Bray (January 26, 2016)
Description: The Mystery of Hollow Places is a gorgeously written, stunningly original novel of love, loss, and identity, from debut author Rebecca Podos.
All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It’s the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist; she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed of a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as “troubled waters.”
Now Imogene is seventeen, and her father, a famous author of medical mysteries, has struck out in the middle of the night and hasn’t come back. Neither Imogene’s stepmother nor the police know where he could’ve gone, but Imogene is convinced he’s looking for her mother. And she decides it’s up to her to put to use the skills she’s gleaned from a lifetime of reading her father’s books to track down a woman she’s only known in stories in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she’s carried with her for her entire life.
My Thoughts: This was a fascinating story about a young woman's search for her father, her mother, and answers to questions that have been unanswered all her life. Imogene Scott is a high school senior. All she knows about her mother is the stories that her father has told her which give a picture of a troubled young woman perhaps cursed to be lonely. Imogene's father is a former forensic pathologist turned mystery author. He also suffers from bi-polar disorder. He has recently married his former therapist Lindy. Lindy and Imogene are tentatively building a family but Imogene is used to being her father's only support system so it isn't going very well.
One morning around Valentine's Day, her father disappears leaving a geode that he has always told Immy was her grandmother's heart for her to find. Immy decides to use the the knowledge she has gained from her lifelong reading of mysteries, including her father's, to find her father by tracking down her mother. She feels sure that he went off to find her mother. Lindy calls the police and post signs; Immy wants to find her father herself.
She does enlist the help of her best friend Jessa and the boy she has had a crush on since she was in fifth grade - Jessa's older brother Chad. One of the most interesting parts of this story to me were the relationships Immy has with other people. She isn't sure why Jessa is her friend because they don't have a lot in common. Immy isn't close to many people as she feels the need to hold everyone at a distance. She says at one point that she never wants to have anything that she can't survive without which includes relationships with other people.
As the story goes on, Immy follows faint clues as she tries to track down her mother. Along the way she learns a lot about her mother, her father and herself. Nothing is quite like Immy is imagining and nothing wraps up neatly like the mystery stories Immy loves.
This was an engaging story with a very determined heroine. Fans of mysteries and coming-of-age stories will enjoy it.
There's just something about a mystery. You've got this question rattling around your head, so all-consuming that there's hardly room for anything else. What's Moriarty up to now? Who's the devil in the blue dress? What is the secret of the old clock? But the whole time, you have faith you'll have your answer by the last page.I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.