The breakout novel from the critically acclaimed author of the short story collections Who I Was Supposed to Be and Why They Run the Way They Do. When a middle school girl is abducted in broad daylight, a fellow student and witness to the crime copes with the tragedy in an unforgettable way.
What happens to the girl left behind?
A masked man with a gun enters a sandwich shop in broad daylight, and Meredith Oliver suddenly finds herself ordered to the filthy floor, where she cowers face to face with her nemesis, Lisa Bellow, the most popular girl in her eighth-grade class. The minutes tick inexorably by, and Meredith lurches between comforting the sobbing Lisa and imagining her own impending death. Then the man orders Lisa Bellow to stand and come with him, leaving Meredith the girl left behind.
After Lisa's abduction, Meredith spends most days in her room. As the community stages vigils and searches, Claire, Meredith's mother, is torn between relief that her daughter is alive and helplessness over her inability to protect or even comfort her child. Her daughter is here, but not.
Like Everything I Never Told You and Room, The Fall of Lisa Bellow is edgy and original, a hair-raising exploration of the ripple effects of an unthinkable crime. It is a dark, beautifully rendered, and gripping novel about coping, about coming of age, and about forgiveness. It is also a beautiful illustration of how one family, broken by tragedy, finds healing.
Susan Perabo captures perfectly the point of view of both the mother and daughter. The suburban family dynamic is spot on. Really enjoyed this book as a family story and commentary on sudden loss and how we cope.
I liked the book, the story was solid but not amazing. A little anti climatic. Kept my attention but didn't blow me away. I would actually give this book a 3.5 or 3.7 if I could.
Would you consider the audio edition of The Fall of Lisa Bellow to be better than the print version?
What did you like best about this story?
I was immediately immersed in the story and cared about the characters: Meredith and her family. And Lisa's mother, Colleen.
If you could take any character from The Fall of Lisa Bellow out to dinner, who would it be and why?
Clare. She was a strong, flawed, and honest mother.
Any additional comments?
If you would like to lose yourself in a fast-paced, suspenseful, and beautiful writing then listen to this novel! Susan Perabo is an excellent, gifted writer. The story of how the Oliver family attempts to cope with tragedy and survival is gripping. This novel captures the complexity of trying to cope with unforeseen, tragic circumstances, and their consequences. Reading this novel will not only immerse you in the world of the Oliver family but it will change you in how you view life and all its unpredictable elements.Perabo has once again created an entertaining, complex, and moving story. Madeleine Maby offered a smooth and clear read, letting Perabo's words illicit the story vs. her acting. I highly recommend this audiobook of Perabo's novel.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Sure. It makes you think. So often, stories like this focus on the abducted person. And that makes sense. This was a different angle. How does it feel to watch the "mean girl" in your class get abducted? How does it feel to be left on the floor? Unchosen for a horrible fate. I related so much to this character, Melissa. I felt those 13-year-old insecurities like they were yesterday.
What other book might you compare The Fall of Lisa Bellow to and why?
Hmmm. Good question. I think the point of view on this was really unique. Nothing jumps to mind.
Which scene was your favorite?
I found myself riveted by the actual abduction.
I listened to the whole thing, still not sure what the story is about. I love this narrator but the book was not a favorite.
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