Skip to main content

Alexandra, Gone by Anna McPartlin

This book has made me a fan of Anna McPartlin.  There's only one other title by McPartlin in the county library system, and after I've read that one I either have to track the others down through ILL or recommend her other titles be added to our library.  Unless I hate the one at home in which case I won't bother with the others.  McPartlin is an Irish writer; she lives in Ireland and her novels are set in Ireland.  In Ireland and the UK Alexandra, Gone was published as So What If I'm Broken and apparently, according to her website, McPartlin hated the latter title and much preferred the title under which the novel was published in the US.  I don't know that I hate the UK title, but the US title makes more sense.  Having read the novel, I'm not really sure the UK title fits the story and we all know how annoying it is when a title has no connection to the story--please see The Dead Travel Fast's review from a couple weeks ago for a refresher.

As girls Alexandra and Jane were best friends.  Then Jane got pregnant at 17 and left school to raise her son while Alexandra went away for college.  The friends lost touch and haven't seen each other since.  Years later when coincidence puts Jane and her self-absorbed, unstable, creative genius sister, Elle in an elevator with Tom, Alexandra's desperate husband, and a stranger named Leslie.  Tom is desperate because months ago Alexandra vanished from a Dublin suburb and since then has not been seen nor heard from and all leads on the case have gone cold.

After their meeting in the elevator, a friendship blooms between the four former strangers who become united in one cause: raising awareness about Alexandra's disappearance in an effort to bring her home.  While Alexandra's mysterious disappearance and unknown fate are the impetus for the friends' bond and for the story, the story's focus is not the stereotypical whodunit mystery of where Alexandra has gone.  Instead this is the story of the months after her disappearance as told from the perspective of her friends and family and its effects on their lives and relationships.  Jane, Tom, Elle and Jane each have their own demons with which to wrestle and through their friendship each finds the strength to move on.

Capable of both humor and heartrendingly sad passages throughout the story, this is a beautifully written novel that is hard to put down.  The friends' journeys are as compelling as the mystery of Alexandra's disappearance.  I recommend you check out this book the next time you're in the library.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Broken by Karin Slaughter

Before I begin the formal review there are a few things I need to get off my chest in the wake of finishing this book; I'll do so without giving away too many (or any) spoilers.
The OUTRAGE!: the identity of Detective Lena Adams' new beau; the low depths to which Grant County's interim chief has sunk and brought the police force down with him; agent Will Trent's wife, Angie's, sixth sense/nasty habit of reappearing in his life just when he's slipping away from her. Thank God for small miracles though because while Angie was certainly referred to during the book, the broad didn't make an appearance. One sign that I've become way too invested in these characters is that I'd like to employ John Connolly's odd pair of assassins, Louis and Angel, to contract out a hit on Angie; do you think Karin Slaughter and John Connolly could work out a special cross over?
Hallelujah: Dr. Sara Linton and agent Will Trent are both back. There is no hallelujah for…

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

When the end came, it seemed to do so completely out of the blue, and it wasn't until long afterward that I was able to see that there was a chain of events leading up to it. Some of those events had nothing to do with us, the Morrisons, but were solely the concern of the Pyes, who lived on a farm about a mile away and were our nearest neighbors." from page seven
I must confess that it took me longer than it really needed to in order to finish the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. The entire story is building up to the big catastrophe that forever destroys all the hopes and dreams the Morrison clan ever dared to hope and dream for its future. In the eyes of the narrator, it is even worse than the tragedy of the car crash that claimed both parents' lives one evening on the heels of some good news the family has received and celebrated. Now you can see why I dreaded getting to the end of a book that drips in foreboding like nobody's business. What can be a worse tra…

In The Woods by Tana French

"What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with the truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies ... and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely ... This is my job ... What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this--two things: I crave truth. And I lie." opening lines of In The Woods chapter 1, pages 3-4
In The Woods by Tana French, an Irish writer, is an extremely well-written and well-crafted mystery novel. The downside is that this is French's debut novel, and her website (located at http://www.tanafrench.com/) does not offer any insi…