This contemporary fiction book by Marlene Adelstein is hauntingly real. Children disappear all the time. This horrific reality sets into motion a traumatic ripple effect in parents, family and friends. Adelstein invites the reader to experience what it may feel like for a mother who’s lost her child and grieves in her unique own way, years beyond the tragedy.
Jesse cannot come to grips that her daughter is gone. She’s obsessed with trying to find her, collecting odds and ends that she believes are clues that remind her of Sophie. In addition to her hoarding-like collection, she’s continually wandering around the store where her daughter was last seen, talking to young girls who may look like her, or to people who might know something that could help find her.
And Sophie’s best friend Star is unable to cope with the loss and grief, letting guilt and sorrow take over her life and well-being. She’s turned to cutting herself and changing her looks and disposition entirely turning into someone who her close friends, and even her parents, barely know.
Both pushed to despair, Jesse and Star settle into these unhealthy habits that stem from their grief. This also includes hurting themselves and one another for the past six years since Sophie has disappeared.
Then two unexpected strangers enter their lives. This disruption forces them to take a hard look at themselves and what they’ve become. Soon everything changes, a tragedy, a fresh set of clues, a blossoming romance and a new sense of purpose settles upon them. Once very close, Jesse and Star come to realize that they need each other in order to move past their own grief and to find the answers, and love, they so desperately seek.
Marlene Adelstein’s book Sophie Last Seen is a gripping tale of three lost souls, two of which have a future, should they choose to embrace it.
But that choice is hauntingly difficult. The story shares a perspective of loss that few have seen or could understand. For those who haven’t lived through this kind of trauma, there may appear to be healthier paths or supportive solutions; but like Jesse and Star, until they are able to face their demons and find some sense of closure, they can’t move on.
This is one of those rare and wonderful stories that really makes you think, tugs at your heartstrings and keeps you reading until the very end.
Source: Marlene Adelstein
Image Courtesy of Author