Mackenzie’s mum Maggie is a bat specialist, who sets out on a trip to the jungles of Panama and never returns. She is now missing without a trace. After 114 days missing, dad drags Mackenzie with him to Panama to search for Maggie. He hides many secrets from the thirteen year old who has just started at college. So does her Nan. This undercurrent keeps tension high throughout the book.
This is the story of trauma suffered by the families and loved ones of missing people. It is the unpeeling of hidden truths, lives put on hold and measured by days missing, and the exhausting lengths people will go to in order to find their lost ones.
Sue Whiting has dug deep to present vivid portrayals of the anguish, destruction of family life, the suppositions, regrets and what ifs, experienced by family members who cling to memories and try to hope when there is no hope left.
She has created another brilliant novel to match her stunning and unforgettable Portraits of Celina. Her writing is crisp, deeply moving and succeeds in drawing the reader into the unbearable agony of loss and grief that the people left behind experience.
In Australia each year, approximately 1600 people are classed as long-term missing. These disturbing statistics force the reader to question where they disappear to, why, and who takes part in this disappearance? Whiting’s novel provides many possibilities in the course of the story, but in reality, for many, the answer is a mystery.
Superbly crafted in now and then time, this powerful novel reflects on how lives shatter and hearts break with sorrow from lack of knowing.
Author: Sue Whiting
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: March 2018, $17.99
For ages: 10+
Type: Middle Fiction