Saturday, September 6, 2014

ARC Review: Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane

Evidence of Things Not Seen
Author: Lindsey Lane
Publication: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (September 16, 2014)

Description: When high school junior Tommy Smythe goes missing, everyone has a theory about what happened to him. He was an odd kid, often deeply involved in particle physics, so maybe he just got distracted and wandered off. He was last seen at a pullout off the highway, so maybe someone snatched him. Tommy believes that everything is possible, and that until something can be proven false, it may be true. So as long as Tommy’s whereabouts are undetermined, he could literally be anywhere.

Told in a series of first-person narratives from people who knew Tommy, Evidence of Things Not Seen  by award-winning author Lindsey Lane explores themes of loneliness, connectedness, and the role we play in creating our own realities.

My Thoughts: EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN is more a collection of short stories than it is a novel. Each of the chapters features a different character and most of them are connected in some way to the disappearance of high school junior Tommy Smythe. They went to school with him; they saw him around town riding his motorbike named Ruby. We learn quite a bit about Tommy through many of these other characters. The one think we don't learn is what happened to him.

Through each chapter we learn about the lives - mostly unhappy - of many characters. The chapter that made my cry was the one about Frank and Stella who had been married for more than 60 and who were now losing each other because of Stella's Alzheimers. Then there was the chapter about the young girl forced into prostitution by her own mother who thinks she finds love and is betrayed. Or the chapter about the abused mother and son who finally decided to leave their abusing husband and father on Christmas.

Some happier chapters include the one where migrant worker Maricela finds a home with an older woman who lives alone on her farm. Or the story about Chuy that ends the book about a young man moving north to find work and a new life.

This book was lyrically written and very thought-provoking. Fans of descriptive language will enjoy this story the most.

Favorite Quote:
We leave pieces of ourselves everywhere. Every time we meet someone, they take some of use and we take some of them. That's how it is. Little particles stick us together. Bit by bit. I think it's how we get whole.
I got this ARC from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.

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